MS Dhoni, Dale Steyn and Other Stars Likely to Retire After ICC World Cup 2019

2672
MS Dhoni, Dale Steyn and Other Stars Likely to Retire After ICC World Cup 2019

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is less than a month away and after the fervour surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL), focus will be back on international cricket after a while. A 10-team tournament this time around, the World Cup follows a league pattern with the top four teams making the semi-finals. The big event this year will also see some established stars playing the World Cup one final time and here we take a look at 10 such players:

Chris Gayle

World Cup Record:

Matches – 26; Runs – 944; Average – 37.76; 100s – 2; 50s – 4

The Universe Boss has announced that the 2019 ODI World Cup would be his last although he would continue to play T20Is for Windies. A terrifying striker of the ball, 39-year-old Gayle has played in four successive World Cups from 2003. Although Windies only just managed to squeeze in for the 10-team tournament, the return of a few heavyweights will see them become a difficult side to get past. With Gayle manning the top-order, the Jason Holder-led side would look to give some of the favourites a run for their money. As Gayle himself said while announcing his retirement, “They (youngsters) have to do that for me and try and get me the trophy. But I’ll be looking to put my input in as well.”

Big World Cup moment

A big World Cup double ton against Zimbabwe in 2015 at Canberra is perhaps Gayle’s best moment in the multi-nation tournament. Facing just 147 balls, Gayle slammed 16 maximums and 10 fours in a knock of 215 after Windies opted to bat first.

Imran Tahir

World Cup Record:

Matches – 13; Wickets — 29; Average – 16.31; Economy – 4.08; Four-plus wicket hauls – 4

Imran Tahir has announced that he will retire from 50-over cricket after the 2019 World Cup, bringing an end to a short, yet memorable, career for South Africa in the ODI format. The leg-spinner made his debut for the Proteas in the 2011 World Cup and was also part of their campaign in 2015. A key figure in South Africa’s plans for the 2019 World Cup, Tahir will hope to bow out on a high. His record in World Cups is stirring with 29 wickets in 13 matches including taking four wickets or more four times.

Big World Cup moment

Tahir made his ODI debut in the 2011 World Cup against West Indies and returned with figures of 4/41 in the match that took place at Delhi. He took 14 and 15 wickets respectively in his two World Cups in 2011 and 2015.

JP Duminy

World Cup Record:

Matches – 13; Runs – 388; Average – 43.11, Wickets – 8

After a few months on the sidelines nursing an injury, South Africa’s utility all-rounder announced his decision to step away from the ODI format after the World Cup in England. A crucial player for the Proteas in the middle-order, Duminy’s all-round capabilities make him invaluable to the side. With AB de Villiers walking away, the middle-order has a gaping hole and Duminy will be expected to make his swansong a memorable one. His World Cup numbers, unlike his ODI stats, are impressive and it shows his ability to shine in crunch situations. His bowling will also be banked upon to give the seamers and Imran Tahir a breather.

Big World Cup moment

In South Africa’s first match of the 2015 World Cup against Zimbabwe, the side was tottering at 83/4 when Duminy joined Miller in the middle. The duo put on an unbeaten 256-run stand to take South Africa to 339. Duminy made a brilliant 115 in 100 balls to help salvage the day for the Proteas.

MS Dhoni

World Cup Record:

Matches – 20; Runs – 507; Average – 42.25; 50s — 3; Catches – 27; Stumpings – 5

India’s World Cup-winning skipper is in the twilight of his career, and is likely to announce his retirement after the marquee event in England later this month. Even if Dhoni decides to carry on playing ODIs, he is unlikely to be available four years later for the World Cup at home. Dhoni will be 41 at the time and though his fitness is unquestionable, the former skipper is unlikely to carry on until then. The 2019 event is a major one for Dhoni to end his celebrated ODI career on a high. In his new role as the firefighter down the order, Dhoni will be a key figure in India’s plans.

Big World Cup moment

Dhoni’s brilliant captaincy in the 2011 World Cup and timely contribution with the bat in the final against Sri Lanka gave India their second World title. His knock in Mumbai in the finals will be one for the special pages in a book of World Cup memories.

Mashrafe Mortaza

World Cup Record:

Matches – 16; Wickets — 18; Average – 36.05; Economy – 4.94; Four-plus wicket hauls – 1

The veteran Bangladesh seamer is a heralded leader and a handy seamer with the new ball. The 2019 World Cup will be Mortaza’s fourth in an 18-year long career. Once considered among the fastest bowlers Bangladesh have produced, constant injury troubles have hampered Mortaza’s career. In April this year, he was named as captain for the World Cup and will carry the hopes of a whole nation. He thrives as a leader and his captaincy will be key to Bangladesh’s chances in the 10-team event.

Big World Cup moment

Mortaza was superb with his captaincy and bowling in the game that knocked England out of the World Cup in 2015. His 2/48 in Adelaide, including big wickets of Alex Hales and Joe Root, dented England’s run-chase after Mahmudullah’s ton.

Dinesh Karthik

World Cup history: Part of 2007 World Cup team but did not play a game

Dinesh Karthik’s career is 15 years long but the wicket-keeper batsman hasn’t had the opportunity to play a World Cup match for India so far. He was part of the Rahul Dravid-led World Cup team that was ousted in the group stages of the 2007 World Cup, but did not get a game. Having edged out Rishabh Pant for a place in the 15-member squad, Karthik will hope to get a game at least in England. His recent form for Kolkata Knight Riders and India instills confidence. At 33, he is unlikely to play the next World Cup at home and Karthik will hope to make his World Cup journey a good one.

Hashim Amla

World Cup Record:

Matches – 15; Runs – 639; Average – 42.6; 100s – 2; 50s – 3

A vital player for South Africa in ODIs, Amla’s form nosedived close to the World Cup team announcement and his place in the 15-member team was itself in doubt. He was picked, however, and will have a chance to make a lasting impression before bowing out of the big stage. Amla’s waning hand-eye co-ordination in the last couple of years meant that his batting wasn’t as effective as before but given the wealth of experience he carries and his impeccable temperament, Amla has earned the trust of the national selectors. His World Cup numbers are impressive but he needs to show that he has it in him to make his final World Cup journey a memorable one.

Big World Cup moment

Amla made a career-best 159 against Ireland in the 2015 World Cup at Canberra after South Africa opted to bat first. The opener wasn’t dismissed until the 42nd over and threatened to make a double hundred, ultimately falling 41 short of the magic number.

Dale Steyn

World Cup Record:

Matches – 14; Wickets — 23; Average – 23.39; Economy – 4.67; Four-plus wicket hauls – 1

The veteran South African seamer made a roaring return to the Test and limited-overs sides after a lengthy injury break and with fast bowlers like Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott taking up Kolpak deals, Steyn became a huge part of South Africa’s World Cup plans in the lead up to the tournament. Named in the 2019 World Cup team, Steyn, at 35, is unlikely to be there for another World Cup after expressing his wish to retire from limited-overs cricket last year. The pacer is currently nursing an injury which cut short his IPL stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore but is expected to be available for the marquee tournament. Steyn’s impressive World Cup record and experience makes him a key part of Proteas’ plans.

Big World Cup moment

Steyn had a heart-wrenching moment when he conceded a six against Grant Elliott in the 2015 World Cup semi-finals against New Zealand with South Africa a step away from a first World Cup final. A dejected Steyn being consoled by Elliott is one of the most adored images in World cricket but the South African will be itching to overwrite that memory with fresh, better ones at the 2019 event.

Lasith Malinga

World Cup Record:

Matches – 22; Wickets — 43; Average – 21.11; Economy – 5.32; Four-plus wicket hauls — 2

Lasith Malinga is intent on playing the World Cup and although he had to relinquish the captaincy weeks before the tournament, the experienced seam bowler remains a vital part of Sri Lanka’s plans. After being dumped, Malinga made an impressive return in the Asia Cup last year, was named Sri Lankan captain subsequently and then came back to represent Mumbai Indians this season. Although he was ousted as skipper, as the leader of a fairly inexperienced Sri Lankan attack, Malinga, alongside Suranga Lakmal, will be tasked with giving the side early inroads. His 43 wickets in World Cups is the seventh best ever and in 2019, he will be playing his fourth World Cup after 2007, 2011 and 2015.

Big World Cup moment

Malinga made a lasting impression in the 2007 World Cup when he picked up four wickets off as many balls against South Africa. The double hat-trick nearly gave Sri Lanka a win out of the blue but they eventually lost by a wicket.

Shoaib Malik

World Cup Record:

Matches – 3; Runs – 92; Average – 30.6; 50s – 1

Shoaib Malik made his debut in 1999, which makes 2019 his 20th year in international cricket. The veteran Pakistan middle-order batsman, however, hasn’t had the luck to be a major part of any World Cup team. He has only ever played three World Cup games — all in 2007 — and will hope to make his final bow in 2019 an impressive one. A brilliant enforcer in the middle and death overs, Malik’s versatility makes him an indispensable player even at 37. A veteran of 282 ODIs, he has announced that the 2019 World Cup would be his swansong. His experience and sound temperament will be a handy aid to Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy while his batting is expected to be a pillar of hope for an inconsistent middle-order.

Big World Cup moment

Malik made a valiant half-century against West Indies in the 2007 World Cup opener after walking in with his side at 99/4 chasing 242. He counter-attacked vehemently and single-handedly kept Pakistan in the game until he was last man dismissed in the 48th over.