As is often said – Time and tide wait for no man. Even though limited-overs cricket has been referred to as the format with no hiding place for older men, Test cricket has often proved to be even more ruthless on fading players.
Admittedly, the romanticism and euphoria accompanied by an ageing veteran’s game-changing performance stays with us forever. But, the major trade-off will reflect on the results as such efforts are quite rare.
Also read: 5 cricketers who bid goodbye too soon
Prior to and after his match-winning master class at The Oval, Younis Khan has been struggling badly to judge lengths on pitches with even a hint of life. He is not the first and probably won’t be the last of the experienced players to go through a barren phase right at the end.
Let us take a look at five of the most high-profile cricketers who could not live up to the lofty standards that they had set for the better part of their stellar careers and still continued to play for a variety of reasons.
Disclaimer: The list is by no means an attempt to slander the achievements of some of the greatest to ever play the game. Instead, they merely serve as a reminder that Father Time gets the better of everyone in the end.
#5 Sir Viv Richards
Perhaps the only batsman to intimidate opposition bowlers with his mere presence, Viv Richards made his debut in 1974 and reigned supreme until the fag end of the 80s. However, his remarkable hand-eye coordination, which had formed the core of his batting, threatened to desert him during his last couple of seasons.
Until 20th March 1989, Richards scored 7714 runs from 104 Tests at an average of 52.83 with 23 centuries and stood as a cornerstone in that dominant West Indies lineup. However, from that point till his retirement in August 1991, he remained a shadow of himself and registered just 826 runs from 17 matches at an average of 34.41 with only a solitary century. Nevertheless, the ‘Calypso King’ bid adieu whilst he was still captain of West Indies.