In the world of sports, retirement can come at any time. It may be due to a sudden or prolonged injury, being dropped from the team due to poor form, or at times, players just give up. Leaving the game that you’ve played for years isn’t easy and most players break down during their swansong. Recently, former Pakistan cricket captain, Misbah Ul Haq decided to opt out of retirement to play against England at a series in the UAE. He took the decision to help his teammates, who are much younger and lack experience. Here’s a list of other sportsmen who made a comeback for various reasons:
In May 2011, footballer Paul Scholes decided to hang up his boots and join the coaching staff at Old Trafford. In January 2012 though, he came back for one more season, as there were a lot of players who were injured. He performed really well that year as well, showing us why Sir Alex Ferguson regarded him as one of the best players at Manchester United.
Seven-time World Champion, Schumacher retired from Formula One after the 2006 season. After that, he took up an advisory role at Ferrari itself. He returned to the sport in 2010 by joining the new Mercedes GP team. Sadly, his second stint wasn’t that great as he didn’t win a single Grand Prix and was later replaced by Lewis Hamilton.
In recent times, no swimmer has achieved as much as Michael Phelps. He’s won a total of twenty-two medals, eighteen of which are gold. Even before the start of the 2012 Olympics, Phelps stated that it would be the last event that he would participate in. He ended his career by winning four gold and two silver medals at the 2012 Olympics. In April 2014, Michael decided to make a comeback and won the 100-meter butterfly event at the Arena Grand Prix which took place that month.
Kim Clijsters, the Belgian tennis player, was supposed to retire at the end of 2007 but due to injuries, she had to cut short her season and ended her career in May 2007. After that, she got married and had a daughter. In 2009, she was called to play a match in order to test the new roof at Wimbledon. At that match, she realized that she wasn’t done with the game yet and made a comeback soon enough. She won
the 2009, 2010 US Open and the 2011 Australian Open, before retiring again in 2012.
This Pakistani cricketer has retired several times from various forms of cricket. In 2006, he quit Test Cricket to concentrate on ODIs and prepare for the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. In 2010, he returned to Test cricket and was made the Captain of the team. He stopped playing the longer format again, citing temperament issues. But Afridi continued to excel in One-Day and T20 cricket. The quarter-final against Australia in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup was his last ODI match.