The ICC World Cup 2019 is underway in England and Wales and the tournament is gaining shape with each passing match. The World Cup has several players in the mix that have been long-serving agents of their respective teams since many years now. These players are standing up for their nations one last time at the major tournament.
It’s also true that majority of these sides have looked upon both youth and experience for the ICC World Cup 2019. And their most senior stars are players that hold the key in the mist demanding situations. So far in the ongoing tourney, we have seen these players take the field and showing their influence.
Even the supporters of the respective countries will be hoping to see their heroes entertaining them for one last time in the mega spectacle. In this article, we take a look at the players who are likely to retire after the ICC World Cup 2019.
MS Dhoni – India
The 37-year-old MS Dhoni has been giving his all since more than a decade now. The former Indian captain is playing in his fourth World Cup. MSD had led India to victory in 2011 as the side won its 2nd World Cup. Dhoni, who had retired from Test cricket at end of 2014, continued to feature in limited-overs cricket.
2019 has been a strong year for MSD. He has been amongst the runs and made his presence felt in that middle order. He came into the World Cup with a lot of confidence. Dhoni also had a successful Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 season with Chennai Super Kings and his match-winning skills were seen.
Dhoni lifts this side and will be backed to hold the batting as the tourney progresses. He is remarkable behind the stumps and is still very effective. With India looking to be spin-heavy, we expect MSD to play a strong role in being vocal. With Rishabh Pant taking over Test duties and awaiting to get into the limited-overs side, Dhoni is likely to retire from ODIs post the CWC 19. He may be tempted to play T20Is though, with the World T20 next year.
Imran Tahir – South Africa
The 40-year-old announced earlier this year that he will retire from ODIs post the ICC World Cup 2019. Tahir has been a sensational cricketer for the Proteas one the last few years and has marked his presence with consistency in terms of wickets. He has been putting in the shift since the start of 2019 and is the in-form bowler in CWC 19.
He won the prestigious Purple Cap in IPL 2019. The start in the 2019 World Cup has been able for Tahir. He picked up two wickets each in the first two games for the Proteas. The leg-spinner has always been the go to bowler for Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis whenever he is in search of wickets. What bodes well for Faf here is that Tahir has always responded with the same.
Tahir brings his experience into play and that will guide him in the tournament. SA, who haven’t been in the best of form, will need Tahir to bail them out and keep them in the hunt for the semis.
Lasith Malinga – Sri Lanka
The Lankan stalwart is all set to retire from ODIs post the World Cup. Malinga showed his value against Afghanistan in his side’s second match in the ICC World Cup 2019, by taking 3/39 in a low-scoring affair. With 325 ODI wicket wickets under his belt, Malinga will be looking to give his all in the ongoing tournament.
He has nothing to lose and Lanka will look up to him for the wickets. He will also be backed to rally the youngsters and urge them to deliver the goods. He has been a great ambassador of the game and it is nice that Malinga will part ways from ODI cricket playing the World Cup as his last major event.
Sri Lanka aren’t one of the top sides, but Malinga can have a strong say and go out with his head held high.
Shoaib Malik – Pakistan
Pakistan cricket team has been blessed with a utility player like Shoaib Malik. He has been a superb performer for the Men in Green and is considered as a gentleman of the game. He made his debut way back in 1999 and his career has spanned nearly a couple of decades. His progression is similar to that of a marathon race. At the age of 36, Malik isn’t getting any younger.
The all-rounder is all set to bow out from ODIs post the World Cup and let the young brigade take over. He is keen on playing T20 cricket though if fitness permits. Malik is a strong name in that Pakistani middle order. He has what it takes to win games and be that decisive factor. One expects Malik to give his all and bring his experience into play.
With 7,534 runs and 158 wickets under his belt, Malik will be aiming to dictate the show in ICC World Cup 2019.
Chris Gayle – West Indies
West Indian stalwart Chris Gayle had announced that the ICC World Cup 2019 will be his last event in ODIs as he will retire from the format. So there is this extra bit of swagger that can come out from Gayle’s bat given that the time is coming to an end. Gayle has been in strong form the year and the consistency is there to be seen.
After a strong IPL 12 campaign for Kings XI Punjab, Gayle started the CWC 19 campaign with a 50 against Pakistan. He struck his 52nd career ODI fifty and extended his tally in World Cup cricket. He is the trump card for West Indies with his ferocious approach up the order.
He may be approaching 40, but Gayle has defied age much like several legends, who pushed themselves to play till a longer time. The best part about Gayle is that he isn’t hanging around to make numbers and just play for the sake of it. Rather there is a willingness to make it count and do well. We hope to see Gayle score immensely and entertain fans around the world.