Fall from the Top

  • Posted at: 16 Aug, 2017, in Sports

 By: Omair AlaviEvery rise has a fall and the fall from the top in case of Champion athletes Usain Bolt and Mo Farrah was always going to be inevitable. They are not the first sportsmen in the world who have seen the worst in their last outing; neither are they going to be the last. Let’s look at some of the big names of sports who gave their best years to the game before bowing out unceremoniously! Hanif Mohammad (Cricket)Undoubtedly, the first Superstar of Pakistan Cricket, Hanif Mohammad was unceremoniously asked by the selectors to bid farewell to the game after playing 55 Tests in 17 years. His last Test century came in 1967 and he quit the game to give his younger brothers Mushtaq and Sadiq a chance to represent the country. He failed to score a 50 in his last 11 innings and his career ended at 3915 runs, 85 short of what would have been the milestone of 4000 runs.Colin Cowdrey (Cricket)English batsman Colin Cowdrey was one of the most inspiring batsmen of his generation; however, when he was recalled at 41, he was way past his best. He couldn’t survive the pace of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thompson and made a mockery of himself by scoring just 165 runs in 9 innings.Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (Cricket)Tiger MAK as the youngest Indian captain was known as in his heydays was dropped from the Indian team in 1969 and was dropped from the team to give youngsters like Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath a chance to prove their mettle. Four years later, he was recalled as a batsman and could only go past 50 twice in as many as 12 innings – all in India against England and the West Indies.Diego Maradona (Football)He may have scored 34 goals in his 17 years as a footballer, but when FIFA expelled him for failing a drug test during the World Cup 194, his career was as good as over. Maradona who was instrumental in Argentina’s rise a football nation maintained his innocence, but his expulsion meant his team couldn’t go into the next round, despite being the runners up in 1990.Javed Miandad (Cricket)Some people don’t want to go down without a fight and Javed Miandad was a living proof of that – he was dropped from the side in 1993 but came back three years later to become the first player to feature in 6 World Cups. However, it was saddening to see Javed go down without a fight as he was hit on the head by Venkatapathy Raju (left arm Indian spinner), couldn’t hit a boundary off a loose ball and seemed like a shadow of his former self when he had the bat in his hand. Mohammad Azharuddin (Cricket)Azharuddin was India’s consistent captain in the 90s and was on the verge of becoming one of the few batsmen to score century in his first and 100th Test; however, he got injured after scoring a century in his 99th match and missed what could have been his 100th Test due to injury. A few months later, he was banned from the game for being part of a match fixing scandal, and he couldn’t play his 100th Test, ever! Shahbaz Ahmed Senior (Hockey)If Hockey had a medal for the most charismatic sportsman, Shahbaz Ahmed would have received it for he entertained the fans of the game with his brilliance for countless years. However, his return for a trip to India in late 90s/early 2000 didn’t go as planned and he came back without doing much, as per his reputation. The Indian public went mad on seeing the legend in the flesh but he was too old to match the speed of his young counterparts, and quit the game on his return.Zinedine Zidane (Football)French Superstar Footballer left the field in anger after head-butting Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the final of the World Cup 2006. Although Materazzi was seen provoking the veteran Zidane, the officials only saw the incident after Zidane lost it, resulting in the 14th red card of his career and the one that ended his career. Italy went onto win the match on penalty shootout, making the expulsion more painful. Inzamam ul Haq (Cricket)Pakistan’s one of the most successful batsmen Inzaman left ODI and Test Cricket in 2007 but none of the final matches of his career were something to remember by. After his penultimate match against Ireland ended in a loss, coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his room while he was unable to break Javed Miandad’s record of most runs for Pakistan in Tests as he got stumped off Paul Harris in an attempt to hit the bowler for a boundary.Jansher Khan (Squash)The Crown Prince of Pakistan Squash Jansher Khan came out of retirement in 2007, hoping to take Pakistan back on top of the world. However, in the first match of the Professional Squash Association tournament, he lost to England’s Scott Handley 11–9, 6–11, 6–11 and 0–11, limiting his comeback to just one match.