Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting's decision to retire could be the start of an exodus of other batting greats, including Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar and South Africa's Jacques Kallis.
With all the leading run-getters in Test cricket in the 35-plus age bracket, the next few years seem set to witness a host of retirements that will leave the game short of batting class and experience.
Ponting, who turns 38 next month, starts his 168th and last Test against South Africa Friday and Tendulkar, who is without a Test century since early last year and will be 40 in April, appears to be next in line to call it quits.
The five veterans make up half the all-time list of just 10 players to have amassed 10,000 runs or more, along with the already retired Rahul Dravid, Brian Lara, Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Sunil Gavaskar.
Tendulkar, the world's leading scorer in both Test and one-day cricket and the maker of an unprecedented 100 international centuries, has already said he has been contemplating ending his iconic 23-year career.
"I am 39 and I don't think I have plenty of cricket left in me," he said.