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15 prominent Indian athletes who retired in 2022

A look at 15 athletes and sportspersons who have hung up their shoes and announced retirement over the past year.

15 prominent Indian athletes who retired in 2022

Manjit Singh (Athletics), Namita Toppo (Hockey) and Ajay Jayaram (Badminton) were among those who bid farewell to their playing days in 2022.


Gayathri Venkatraman

Updated: 15 Dec 2022 4:25 PM GMT

From Roger Federer to Serena Williams and Sebastian Vettel to Ashleigh Barty, this year saw the retirements of many players across sports.

Here is a list of 15 Indian stars and legends who hung up their shoes in 2022 for various reasons:

#1 Ajay Jayaram, Badminton

Ajay Jayaram is an Indian badminton player from Chennai. He has won multiple medals at the Dutch Open between 2010-2016, was the runner-up at the BWF Superseries (2015), won a bronze medal at the Asia Team Championships (2016), was the BWF World Tour runner-up (2018), and has numerous podium finishes at various BWF International Challenges and Series. He plays in the Premier Badminton League for the Mumbai Rockets.

He retired from badminton earlier this year, on March 26, to pursue an MBA.

#2 Jhulan Goswami, Cricket

Jhulan is a well-known name in the arena of women's cricket. The right-arm medium fast bowler and right-hand batter is one of the fastest female bowlers of all time and considered one of the greatest in the sport. She has played 204 ODIs and holds the record for the most number of wickets in women's ODIs, with 255 to her name. On March 12, 2022, she became the highest wicket-taker in the Women's World Cup, overtaking Lyn Fullston.

She announced her retirement from international cricket in September 2022 after a long and illustrious career.

#3 Kamala Devi, Football

India women's national team midfielder Yumnam Kamala Devi made her debut in 2010 and has scored 33 goals in 36 matches. She played for Gokulam Kerala in the Indian Women's League (2020) and won the competition, also represented the Railways team at the Senior National Championships. She was an integral part of the team that secured gold at the South Asian Games in 2010 and 2016. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) honored her with the Women's Footballer of the Year Award in 2017.

She announced her retirement in February 2022, following India's exit from the AFC Women's Asia Cup.

#4 Karuna Jain, Cricket

Karuna Jain is a batter and wicketkeeper from Bengaluru who has eight 50s and one century in women's ODIs and over 1100 runs from WODIs and Tests. In her test career, she had 17 dismissals, which was second only to Anju Jain's 23. In ODIs and T20s, she has 58 and 12 dismissals, respectively.

She announced her retirement from all forms of cricket in July 2022.

#5 Manjit Singh, Athletics

Manjit Singh is an Indian middle-distance runner, who won the gold medal in the men's 800 meters for India after 36 years at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. He announced his retirement from the tracks in April 2022 on the penultimate day of the 25th National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships at Calicut University.

"I can't take this anymore. I have to take the call as my body can no longer withstand the strain of the competitions due to injuries. This is not a decision made in a huff; it has been playing in my mind for quite some time. I have done my role pretty well and I'm proud of my achievements," Manjit, 33, had told The Bridge after the race.

#6 Mithali Raj, Cricket

The former India women's national cricket team captain, Mithali Raj, has broken and set multiple records, received multiple national and international laurels, and set a benchmark for women's cricket on the whole. She is nicknamed "Lady Tendulkar of Indian Women's Cricket" as she currently leads the run-scorer charts in all formats, Tests, ODIs, and T20s alike. She has been conferred the Arjuna Award (2003), Padma Shri (2015), BBC 100 Women (2017), Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World (2017), and Khel Ratna (2021).

On June 8th, 2022, she announced her retirement from all formats of international cricket.

#7 Namita Toppo, Hockey

Namita Toppo, an Indian female field hockey player who made her state debut in 2007, continued with the Girls U-18 Asia Cup Team that won bronze, entered the senior team with the FIH Champions Challenge in Dublin in 2012, and has represented India in over 150 matches.

The midfielder had announced her retirement from her decade-long career earlier this September.

#8 Nirmal Chettri, Football

Nirmal Chettri is an Indian footballer who began his football career in 2000. He went on to play for numerous teams during his senior career, earned caps for the India Youth Team at U17 and U23 level, was selected for the India U23 team that took part in the 2009 SAFF Championship, and made his senior international debut during the 2011 SAFF Championship. He was a part of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup squad.

He retired from professional football last month.

#9 Om Praksh Singh Karhana, Shotput

Om Prakash Singh is an Indian shotput thrower. Originally a basketball player, he made the switch to shotput when he was approached by Lalit Bhanot, secretary of the Athletics Federation of India. He holds the national record of 20.69 meters, which he achieved in May 2012 in Hungary. He competed at the 2012 London Olympics and finished sixth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

The former Olympian announced his retirement in May 2022.

#10 Rahul Sharma, Cricket

The right-handed leg-break and googly bowler has been a member of the Punjab cricket team since 2006, and came into the limelight after outstanding performances in the 2011 IPL. He made his ODI debut in 2011 against West Indies, and T20 debut in 2012 against Australia.

In August 2022, Rahul decided to retire from all formats of the game in order to take part in the Road Safety World Series, 2nd edition.

#11 RMV Gurusai Dutt, Badminton

Yet another product of the Gopichand Badminton Academy, Gurusai Dutt, won bronze at the 2008 BWF World Junior Championships, the 2008 Dutch Junior International, gold at the 2008 CWG, silver at the 2010 South Asian Games, gold at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games, bronze at the 2014 CWG in Glasgow, and many medals at BWF International Challenges.

He announced his retirement from badminton in June 2022.

#12 Robin Uthappa, Cricket

Robin Uthappa is a former Indian cricketer who has played for Kerala in domestic cricket, CSK in the IPL, and represented India in ODIs and T20Is. He is nicknamed "The Walking Assassin" for his tactic of charging down towards the bowler.

He announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on September 14, 2022.

#13 Rumeli Dhar, Cricket

The former Indian cricket all-rounder played as a right-handed batter and bowled right-arm medium. Between 2003 and 2018, she played 78 ODIs, 18 T20Is, and domestic cricket for Bengal, Air India, Railways, Rajasthan, Assam, and Delhi.

Finally, she announced her retirement from all forms of cricket in June 2022.

#14 Suresh Raina, Cricket

The former Indian international cricketer is an aggressive left-handed middle-order batsman and an occasional off-spinner. He would serve as the stand-in captain often and is the second-youngest player to captain India; he captained the Gujarat Lions in the IPL; and he was the vice-captain of CSK. He holds numerous records. Being the first Indian batsman to hit a century in all 3 formats of international cricket being one of them.

He joined his friend, and captain M.S.Dhoni in retirement from international cricket last year in August, and in September 2022, he announced retirement from all forms of cricket (including IPL and domestic cricket).

#15 Vanitha VR, Cricket

Another former Indian cricketer who has played in 16 WODIs and 6 WT20Is for India since 2014. She has represented Karnataka in the domestic circuit from 2006–07 to 2020–21 and Bengal in the 2021/22 season.

She announced her retirement from all forms of cricket in February 2022.

Other players like Sania Mirza had earlier mentioned that this might be their last year on the WTA circuit too, but is yet to formally announce her retirement.

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