What is Retired Out and Retired Hurt in Cricket?

- Blog - January 18, 2024
What is Retired Out and Retired Hurt in Cricket?
What is Retired Out and Retired Hurt in Cricket?

Cricket, a game steeped in tradition and rules, brings forth fascinating scenarios that often leave fans curious. One thing that came into limelight after a fantastic T20I match between IND Vs. AFG is “Retired Out” and “Retired Hurt.” Let’s take a deep dive into these cricket rules and understand what they are and how these rules work.

Super Over Batting Rules:

The provided information outlines the key rules regarding batting in Super Overs, as defined by both the MCC and ICC playing conditions. Here’s a concise breakdown:

General Batting Retirement:

  • 25.4.2: If a batter retires due to illness, injury, or other unavoidable circumstances, they can resume their innings later. Otherwise, they’ll be marked as “Retired – Not Out.”
  • 25.4.3: For any other reason (apart from 25.4.2), resuming a retired batter’s innings requires the opposing captain’s consent. If not resumed, they’ll be marked as “Retired – Out.”

Super Over Batting:

  • A crucial rule specific to Super Overs: Any batter dismissed in a previous Super Over is ineligible to bat in any subsequent Super Overs.


  • These rules apply to both men’s and women’s cricket.
  • For a complete understanding, it’s always recommended to refer to the official MCC and ICC playing conditions documents.

What is Retired Out?

Retired out in cricket is a situation where a batsman chooses to leave the field without any physical injury or discomfort, typically due to strategic reasons. This decision is not based on physical pain or injury but rather a tactical choice, often made to allow another batsman to have a turn at the crease or to preserve themselves for future matches.

However, if a batsman retires for any other reason, or without the umpire’s permission, they are considered to have forfeited their wicket and are therefore out. Unless the opposing captain offers an exemption, the retired batsmen may not return. This situation is recorded on the scorecard as ‘retired – out’ and is considered a dismissal for statistical purposes, though is not credited to a bowler.

Examples of Retired Out

As of 2024, only two batsmen have retired out in a test match, and both instances occurred in the same innings: Sri Lankan batsmen Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene both retired out in a match against Bangladesh in 2001. The decision was controversial, since they retired out to give the rest of the team batting practice, and this was considered unsporting.

What is Retired Hurt?

Retired hurt in cricket is a situation where a batsman chooses to leave the field because of illness, injury or any other unavoidable cause, with the permission of the umpire. This decision is based on physical pain or discomfort, and not on tactical reasons. A batsman who is retired hurt is considered not out, and can resume his or her innings later, if he or she recovers before the end of the team’s innings.

Retired hurt is different from retired out, which is when a batsman voluntarily retires without any injury or illness, usually for strategic purposes. A batsman who is retired out is considered out, and cannot bat again in the same innings.

Examples of Retired Hurt

One example of a retired hurt player is Sachin Tendulkar, who retired hurt twice in his IPL career while playing for Mumbai Indians. The first time was in 2012, when he suffered a finger injury after being hit by a delivery from Doug Bollinger of Chennai Super Kings. He had scored 16 runs off 15 balls and did not return to bat again in the match. The second time was in 2013, when he was struck on the glove by a bouncer from Mitchell Johnson of Pune Warriors. He had scored 38 runs off 31 balls and came back to bat in the last over of the innings.

What Are the Differences of Retired Hurt or Retired Out

The primary differences between “retired hurt” and “retired out” in cricket lie in the reasons for a batsman leaving the field during their innings and the implications for their subsequent participation in the match. Let’s break down these differences:

Reason for Leaving the Field:

  • Retired Out: A batsman is declared “retired out” when they voluntarily and permanently leave the field during their innings. This decision is typically based on personal reasons, strategic team decisions, or other non-medical factors.
  • Retired Hurt: A batsman is declared “retired hurt” when they leave the field temporarily during their innings due to injury, illness, or some form of physical discomfort.


  • Retired Out: The decision to retire out is usually voluntary and not prompted by a physical condition. It may be a strategic move or a personal choice by the batsman or the team.
  • Retired Hurt: The decision to retire hurt is involuntary and is made to address the immediate health concern of the batsman. It’s a temporary departure from the field for medical reasons.

Nature of Departure:

  • Retired Out: When a batsman is retired out, it is a permanent departure from their innings, and they do not return to bat in the same innings.
  • Retired Hurt: A batsman who is retired hurt may return to bat later in the same innings if they recover from their injury or ailment.

Scoring and Dismissal:

  • Retired Out: The batsman’s score at the time of being retired out is final for that innings. It is not considered a dismissal in the traditional sense.
  • Retired Hurt: The batsman’s score at the time of being retired hurt remains, and it is not considered a dismissal. If they return to bat, they continue from the score they had when they left.

Fielding Implications:

  • Retired Out: There is no provision for a substitute fielder when a batsman is retired out. The team continues with one player less in the field.
  • Retired Hurt: A substitute fielder may be allowed to replace the batsman who is retired hurt, ensuring that the fielding team is not disadvantaged in the field.


In cricket, understanding “Retired Out” and “Retired Hurt” is crucial. These rules impact a player’s departure and return, shaping the game’s dynamics. Always refer to official documents for clarity.

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