Cricket is an ever-evolving game. It has quickly moved from red-ball to white-ball cricket and the pace of the game has also increased drastically. With T20 cricket dominating, the course of a game now changes in one ball. Although T20 cricket is an improved version of cricket in itself, it also needs some changes. And retiring out has become the latest improvisation that is changing the results of a game.
Retiring out used to be a tactical move in red-ball cricket (mostly in practice games), but it is being used as a weapon in the shortest format now. The first instance of a batsman retiring out in a T20 game happened when Shahid Afridi was dismissed retired out during a tour match against Northamptonshire in 2010. The latest to do that was Indian cricketer R Ashwin who retired in an IPL game to allow the next batsman to take center stage.
And now, Carlos Brathwaite adopted this tactical move in a T20 Blast game between Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire. Captaining Warwickshire in a rain-curtailed game, Brathwaite decided to retire himself out after playing a good knock of 17 runs off 11 deliveries. The Warwickshire captain made way for Alex Davies (although Sam Hain replaced Brathwaite, Davies took the strike) who then played a blinder (14* off 4 deliveries) and helped his team reach a respectable total (98/5 in 8 overs).
Brathwaite gets a reply!
It was not only Brathwaite who got this idea of retiring out and allowing someone better-suited to take over. Nottinghamshire Samit Patel also did a similar thing when he walked out the ground on the penultimate ball of the Nottinghamshire innings to allow Calvin Harrison to come in the middle. However, the move did not work the way Patel would have thought as Warwickshire won the thriller by 1 run.
With two batsmen retiring out in the same match, it was the first-ever instance in a T20 game.