With less than a year to go for the 2019 World Cup, teams have already begun their preparations for the tournament. While a lot of players will be playing their first ICC World Cup, there are quite a lot of players, legends included, who will be calling it a day post the major ICC event.
Here are 5 players who are likely to bid adieu to the game post the World Cup.
1. MS Dhoni
A lot has been said about the decision to include Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian squad for the World Cup.
With Rishabh Pant showing his worth both as a batsman and a wicket-keeper during the Border-Gavaskar Test series in Australia, the idea of Dhoni playing in the biggest tournament this year has been challenged by many.
But his performance in the ODI series against the Aussies has cleared all doubts that he’s not only still got it but continues to be one of the elite batsmen out there.
The batsman has shown interest in playing the 2019 World Cup ever since he gave up his captaincy. Dhoni’s Manager, Arun Pandey told Gulf News in 2018 “It’s been a long cherished dream of Dhoni – since he gave up the captaincy in white ball cricket – to play in the World Cup next year where he would be more as a mentor to the team.”
Ever since he became a part of Team India he had a wonderful career. He is the most loved captain ever. His best way to say goodbye would be playing this World Cup and better win it.
2. Chris Gayle
This may be Chris Gayle’s last match as an active batsman for West Indies.
2018 was worst year for him as he was absent from Windies squad. Gayle will play a crucial role during team’s World Cup run says Windies chief selector, Courtney Browne.
Gayle is known for his big innings and making unbelievable records including a massive 215 double century against Zimbabwe during the 2015 World Cup.
The former captain was away from the pitch for long with injuries, the World Cup would be the perfect opportunity for the fans to witness one last ‘Gayle Storm’.
3. Ross Taylor
In 2006, he made his ODI debut and is still playing like a 20 year old fresher.
Taylor scored 639 runs in just 11 ODI’s which included two centuries and four half-centuries.
On Saturday, 5 January after the second one day international against Sri Lanka, Taylor said, “It’s a World Cup year, and I’ve put a big focus on the tournament and on one-day cricket. There are still a few things I want to work on, but I can hopefully continue the form over the summer.”
His inconsistency along with his age are hinting his separation from the game. New Zealand is looking like real title contenders under the leadership of Kane Williamson and Taylor.
4. Dale Steyn
Back in 2016 Dale was last seen playing in the 50 over format when they were hosting Australia for a five-game series which the Proteas won with a 5-0 clean sweep.
“It’s so bloody long ago I can’t even remember it,” Dale Steyn said in an interview with ICC. “What I do remember is that we won 5-0. And it’s a team game. And that’s all that matters.”
Since then he has often shown interest in participating in 2019 World Cup.
He played a big role in Hampshire County Cricket Club England and Wales’ domestic first-class cricket circuit and can capitalise it on it during the World Cup in June.
5. Hashim Amla
Every day Hashim Amla is deteriorating as a performer. He is known for his quiet demeanour and a strong presence on the pitch.
The 36 year old currently struggling with his pace in all formats of the game was once a proud opener for the Proteas.
Although the team has other options should Amla not get his touch back, there is still a lot of time for ‘the mighty Hash’ to get there. What is probably a bit more worrying is his bad luck dealing with injuries.
If this is going to be Amla’s big exit from the cricketing world, he will most certainly try his best to perform with how much ever fuel he has left in his tank.