The year has witnessed the retirements of three legendary cricketers which has created a huge void in the game of cricket as legendary cricketers, Ricky Ponting, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid have bid good-bye to the game. With the legends drawing curtains to their cricketing career the same year, Test cricket's golden era will come to an end rather shortly since a few more players who have been a part of this era are still serving the game.
The era that took so long to build as Sachin Tendulkar was the first to start his cricketing career amongst these legends, in 1989, as other cricketers followed him.
The game witnessed many memorable moments due to these legends, including West Indies' Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sri Lanka's Aravinda De Silva, Mahela Jayawardene and others.
While a couple of them have already retired, this year has witnessed the retirements of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Ricky Ponting, which is very hard to digest, as they have been the most successful cricketers for their countries and have been termed as legends of the game.
Well, though they took time to build the era, it took just a year to bid adieu to cricket, which also suggests that their respective teams would find it extremely difficult to replace such legends.
Rahul Dravid was the first to call it a day on March 9, 2012 after repeated failure against Australia Down Under, as India also witnessed a humiliating 4-0 defeat against the Aussies.
The Wall of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid has been the third highest run-scorer in Tests and his retirement was very hard to digest, as Team India's batting line-up looks vulnerable without 'The Wall'.
If that was a major setback, a couple of months later India faced yet another blow, as the very very special Laxman, decided to retire with immediate effect ahead of the Test series against New Zealand, on Aug 18, 2012.
Laxman, who had just one bad series against Australia, could have easily played for the next two years, as he was playing only Tests, but decided to quit Test cricket before the selectors took a call on his future.
Nevertheless, both the players have been the most successful Test players, and their retirement has indeed created a huge void in the team, which cannot be filled in the near future.
Similarly, Ricky Ponting who has been struggling to strike form also decided to call it a day as his performance wasn't good in the last couple of matches, is putting an end to his Test career after the Test match against South Africa at Perth.
Ponting, being Australia's most successful captain and one of the great players ever produced by the country, would be definitely missed as his contribution to the game has been huge.
Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, South Africa's Jacques Kallis, Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene and West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the only few cricketers who have been playing the game, while others have quit cricket. Looks like sooner than later it will be history when the game witnessed such legends playing the game which would be the golden era of cricket.
Drawing an end to a glorious career is always tough, but Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Ponting have taken the brave decision of calling it quits on their own terms, which is appreciated by everyone.