Legendary players, accomplished careers, and one final shot at GOLD.
No matter how good or bad, everything comes to an end one day. These players have been legends of the game and would be looking to go for the Gold towards the end of their glorious careers one last time. The following are the players who might be playing their last World Cup:
1. Chris Gayle
Source: India Today
In the history of cricket, the Windies team has always been known for their destructive and ruthless bowling, until Christopher Henry Gayle started batting for them.
If one wants to know the real meaning of carnage and destruction, a bowler who’s bowled to Chris Gayle would explain it really well. The 'Universe Boss' has declared that the 2019 World Cup in England will be his last and the champion player will retire after the tournament.
When it comes to league cricket, he has scored runs everywhere, from the IPL to the BBL (Big Bash League) in Australia. Coming to international cricket Gayle has had his fair share of controversies with the Windies board and hasn’t actively represented them at the international level. Despite all the controversies, he has had a glorious career in all formats of the game, going down as one of the biggest names in Windies cricket.
Gayle played 103 tests scoring 7214 runs, with 15 centuries and the highest score of 333. His limited overs record is legendary, scoring 10151 runs with 25 centuries, including a double hundred in the 50 over format. With 12808 runs, including 21 centuries and the highest score of 175* (which is a record), he remains unbeaten in the T20 format.
2. MS Dhoni
From the young lad from Ranchi to a formidable leader who shaped the present and future of Indian Cricket, MS Dhoni is one of the greatest cricketing minds to have ever played the game. He is a great finisher and a great captain but history will remember MS Dhoni as a bridge who handled the transition of an older generation growing into a new one.
He was given the captaincy of the Indian team in 2007 and by 2013, he had already won all the three prestigious ICC trophies. India had become the number 1 Test team in 2009 under his captaincy.
Not only for Team India but for Chennai Super Kings in IPL too, MSD has done wonders. They have played 8 finals in the 10 seasons of IPL and CSK has always managed to qualify for the playoffs. With MSD in the team, it looks like a completely different team. He will surely go down as one of the greatest contributors to the game of cricket.
3. Dale Steyn
You know the bowler is Dale Steyn when the ball hits the stumps and the stumps break into pieces. Dale Steyn is one of those rare breeds of fast bowlers who generate a pace of close to 140 km/h at the age of 35, and are actively playing all three formats.
The legendary pacer from South Africa has been phenomenal for whichever team he has represented. With 439 wickets in 93 tests, Dale Steyn will be a huge asset in the 2019 World cup for South Africa, as the Proteas look to live their incomplete dream of winning a World cup.
4. Ross Taylor
Source: News hub
Surely one of the finest batsmen in the history of New Zealand cricket, Ross Taylor has been an important forte in the Kiwis batting line up in all three formats for a number of years.
Missing out on the prestigious trophy in the 2015 World Cup where the Kiwis ended up being the runners-up, losing to arch-rivals Australia. The New Zealand team and Ross Taylor would be looking for redemption and completing the task in this World Cup.
Taylor is one of the most successful Kiwi batsmen of all times with 8026 ODI runs in 218 games with 20 centuries.
5. Imran Tahir
Source: ICC Cricket
Imran Tahir is a gift of Pakistan to South Africa. Starting out late, making his debut at the age of 31 in 2011, the 40-year-old wrist spinner has been phenomenal in his career for the Proteas.
His knack of picking crucial wickets in the middle overs has benefited South Africa for years and the ‘young at heart’ wristy would be looking to make a big impact when South Africa begin their campaign in the 2019 World Cup.
Tahir has played 98 ODIs and picked up 162 wickets with a career best of 7/45 which came against the Windies.
6. Lasith Malinga
Sri Lanka was a dominating force in the world of cricket when the young Lasith Malinga, with an unorthodox action, made his debut in 2004. As he climbed the success ladder through the years, Malinga became an irreplaceable asset of Sri Lankan cricket.
Towards the end of his career, his pace and form might have dropped a little but he did send out a strong message to the cricketing world with his impressive comeback in the 2019 edition of IPL for the Mumbai Indians. He picked up 16 wickets in 12 games in IPL and 322 wickets in 218 ODIs.
Malinga is all set to play for Sri Lanka in the 2019 World Cup. The past few years have been bad for Sri Lankan cricket and hence the Lankan fans would be hoping for Malinga to perform and bring in all his experience into the tournament. Sri Lanka would be hoping to retain the 'dominating force' tag again.
All have been champion players for their respective teams, and are irreplaceable. We dearly love them and thank them for their contributions to this wonderful game called cricket.