Zimbabwe fast bowler Kyle Jarvis has announced his retirement from all the formats of international cricket. He was in no condition to provide his services to Zimbabwe due to his persistent illness and injury. Hence, he made this big decision announcing his retirement. His career has been a rollercoaster ride, from being picked up for international cricket just after the under-19 world cup to leaving zimbabwe to play for Lancashier to again leaving Lancashire to play for Zimbabwe coupled with facing a series of injuries in between.
But it was Kyle Jarvis’s spirit and his passion for the game that made him stick to the game as long as he could. In his international career spanning over a decade, he has played a total of 13 tests, 49 ODIs and 22 T20s, taking the 46, 49, and 22 wickets respectively.
He was going through three illnesses simultaneously; Covid-19, Malaria, fiver. He sought 6 months time to fully recover from the illness and return to international cricket but destiny had different plans for him and he came up with this announcement of retirement. The last match he played was the first test against Sri lanka in Jan 2020. He went wicketless in the first match but he suffered from the back injury and had to call it a quit for the reminder of the test to rehabilitate from the significant injury.
“I hurt my back against Sri Lanka in a Test match at the beginning of 2020,” Jarvis said in a media interaction. “I managed to come back and become fit again and just as I was starting to come back into it I got that illness which set me back further. After the uncertainty of that, I needed to realise I had to start looking for something for life after cricket. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could come back again, but I had my mind set to start something on the side.”
Owing to his good performance in the under-19 world cup in the 2008, his entry into the Zimbabwe team was significantly fast tracked, he played his debut match for the team against Kenya in 2009. He was someone to be relied upon, then he made strides into the subsequent series against Bangladesh and South africa. But his luck was not with him and he suffered the bouts of injuries following which he was sidelined. His return to Zimbabwe coincided with Zimbabwe’s return to international cricket. He made the test debut against Bangladesh in Aug 2011 in harare where he managed to pick up the impressive 5 wickets in the two innings.
Jarvis picked up the first of his three Test fifers later that season when he claimed 5 for 64 against New Zealand and took it as a sign that he belonged. “A big one that sticks out is my first Test five-for in Bulawayo against New Zealand. That was a special moment when I knew I was good enough to play at that level,” he said.
But unfortunately, he left the Zimbabwe team to play for the Lancashire club as Zimbabwe cricket was suffering from a financial crunch and many of the players were not paid their salaries on time. In the hope of having financial security, he struck the deal with the Lancashire club and he soon managed to make a mark for himself as one of the most valuable players of the club at that time. His deal with Lancashire resulted in Jarvis not playing for the fifty-over World Cup. With the announcement of retirement, he will never finish his career without playing the fifty-over World Cup. Though, he played one T20 world cup in Sri Lanka for Zimbabwe.
In 2017, he ended his deal with the Lancashire club only to resume playing for his country Zimbabwe. Since his return, he has played a total of 5 tests, taking the 6 wickets at 25.12 including 7 for 98 in a match against Bangladesh in Dhaka in November 2018, 25 ODIs, in which he took 31 wickets at an average of 27.96, significantly lower than his overall average of 36.00. “I felt my last three years of international cricket were my best,” he said. “I am very proud of what I managed to do at the end there.”
Although his form was good, and he had completely recovered from both the injury and the illnesses, Jarvis said he had already made plans for an alternate career during the period.
“I made a full recovery from both. I train every day – in the gym, playing football or running. I can’t try and guess if I could play at the same level again. I think if I put my mind to it, I could but I have made peace with my decision,” he said.
While Jarvis plans to become involved in coaching, he also has several other business plans for the coming future.
“I’ve got a vehicle import-export business and a used car dealership here in Zimbabwe and I am starting a restaurant. It’s a bit crazy to be doing a restaurant in these Covid times but hopefully, we can get it together,” he said. “And hopefully I won’t be forgotten that soon. I’d like to give back and be a part of Zimbabwe cricket in some capacity going forward.”