What is the Meaning of Retired Hurt?

Learn about the unique provision in cricket known as ‘retired hurt’ and how it impacts players during matches. Discover the implications, examples, and significance of this rule.

Understanding the Concept of ‘Retired Hurt’ in Cricket

In cricket, the term ‘retired hurt’ refers to a situation where a batsman decides to leave the field due to injury or illness during their innings. This can happen if the player is unable to continue playing due to the physical discomfort caused by an injury. It is a unique provision in cricket that allows a player to temporarily leave the field without being officially declared out.

When Does a Player Retire Hurt?

A player can opt to retire hurt if they sustain an injury during their innings that makes it difficult or impossible for them to continue batting. In such cases, the on-field umpires, in consultation with the team physiotherapist and the player, can permit the player to leave the field and receive medical attention.

Implications of Retired Hurt

When a player retires hurt, they are considered ‘not out’ and can return to bat at a later stage in the innings if they recover from their injury. However, if the player is unable to resume their innings, they are not considered as dismissed, and their score remains unchanged.

Examples of Retired Hurt in Cricket

  • During a Test match between Australia and India, fast bowler Brett Lee retired hurt after being hit on the elbow by a bouncer. He later returned to bat after receiving medical attention.
  • In a T20 International match, New Zealand’s Martin Guptill retired hurt due to a hamstring injury but was unable to resume his innings.

Case Studies

According to statistics, the incidence of retired hurt in international cricket matches is relatively low, with most players opting to play through injuries if possible. However, in cases where the injury is severe, players choose to retire hurt to prevent further damage to their health and well-being.


Retired hurt is a crucial provision in cricket that ensures the safety and well-being of players during matches. It allows them to prioritize their health while also providing a fair opportunity to return to the game if they recover from their injuries. Understanding the concept of retired hurt is essential for both players and fans to appreciate the rules and regulations of the sport.

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