Senior cricketers tend to push themselves extremely hard to play one last World Cup. The World Cup is a true celebration of the sport but once it is over, the fans across the world witness some of the greatest players bidding adieu to the sport.
Sri Lankan batting legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara; India's explosive opener Virender Sehwag and speedster Zaheer Khan; former Australian captain Michael Clarke -- all these players retired after the conclusion of the 2015 World Cup. It makes one wonder as to which players might hang their shoes after the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup.
The preparation of all the teams for the upcoming cricket extravaganza in England are in full swing. A little over four months remain for cricket’s most prestigious tournament to begin. Many experienced bowlers will also be taking part in the World Cup. In this article, we will specifically take a look at the Top 5 bowling greats who have a high probability of retiring after the World Cup.
#5 Stuart Broad
The lanky Stuart Broad last played an ODI match on February 14, 2016, against South Africa. However, the 32-year-old is still a regular part of England's Test side.
The lanky Right-arm fast-medium bowler had an illustrious career with England. Broad has picked up 178 wickets in the 121 ODIs he has played for the national team. However, his 433 wickets in 124 Test matches are what make him stand out.
The Nottingham-born player is currently 8th (jointly with Rangana Herath and Dale Steyn) on the list of all-time highest wicket-takers in Test cricket. His 178 scalps in ODIs also make Broad 3rd on the list of England's all-time wicket-takers in ODIs -- behind James Anderson and Darren Gough.
The hard toiling Broad has a test century to his name as well. He scored it against Pakistan in 2010. Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad created history at Lord's during that match as they made the record-breaking 8th wicket partnership of 332 runs. The former England captain is past his best days. He may end up hanging up his shoes after the World Cup as well.
#4 Mashrafe Mortaza
'Narail Express', as Mortaza is popularly known, may end up bidding adieu to the sport post the 2019 World Cup. The Bowling Allrounder has had a glorious career for the national team. He is The Tigers' all-time leading wicket-taker in ODIs, all-time 3rd highest wicket-taker in T20Is, and all-time 5th highest wicket-taker in Tests.
The Right-arm fast-medium bower has extraordinary stats: 258 wickets and 1728 runs in 202 ODIs, 78 wickets and 797 runs in 36 Tests, 42 wickets and 377 runs in 54 T20 Internationals. Mortaza is still a part of the ODI squad and it is likely that he is pushing himself just to play one last World Cup. He does, however, bring in much-needed experience in the squad.
The prolific Mortaza is currently playing for the Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League. He has picked up 12 wickets in the previous 7 matches for the Riders.
#3 Lasith Malinga
There is an aura about Lasith Malinga that is extremely unique. The 35-year-old bowler last played a Test match for the nation in August 2010 but he is still an integral part of Sri Lanka's ODI and T20I teams. The Galle-born player is widely popular for his toe-crushing yorkers.
Sri Lanka requires Malinga's experience going into the 2019 World Cup. The speedster has also worked a lot on his fitness and come back into the national side all guns blazing. Malinga scalped 7 wickets in the 3 ODIs he played against New Zealand recently. Excellent bouncers and deceptive slower balls are also a part of the pacer's arsenal.
The limited overs specialist has some unique records to his name. One such record is taking 4 wickets in 4 consecutive deliveries. He set it way back in March 2007 against South Africa. Malinga is also the highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL with 154 wickets.
A long tryst with injuries in the past few years had hampered Malinga's performance and made him slower. However, the effort that he has put in to come back so strongly in the side is commendable. It is likely that Malinga has given this one final push to play one last World Cup.
#2 James Anderson
Another English speedster likely to retire in 2019 is James Anderson. The Burnley-born player is England's all-time highest wicket-taker in ODIs. He has 269 wickets to his name in 194 ODIs.
Anderson is also the most prolific fast bowler in the history of Test cricket with 565 scalps to his credit in 145 matches. He surpassed Glenn McGrath's record in 2018.
The 36-year-old is also 4th on the list of Test cricket's all-time highest wicket-takers -- coming in behind the spin maestro's Muralitharan, Shane Warne, and Anil Kumble. His career achievements are absolutely astounding and he remains one of the best swing bowlers of all time.
The Englishman holds the unique record being the only seam bowler to pick up over 100 wickets at a single venue. He achieved this feat at Lord's.
Anderson has truly reached the pinnacle in Test cricket. With age not on his side, he may finally call it a day after the World Cup.
#1 Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn is the best seam bowler South Africa ever produced. The 35-year-old is known to bowl with blistering speed.
The Phalaborwa-born player picked up a phenomenal 433 wickets in 91 Tests at a brilliant average of 22.82. He is the highest wicket-taker for The Proteas in Tests. Steyn also has 192 wickets to his credit in 121 ODIs and 58 scalps in 42 T20Is.
The ball clocked speeds of over 150 Km/Hour when Steyn was bowling at full throttle. He was the World's number 1 bowler (as per ICC Rankings) for an astonishing 263 weeks between 2008 and 2014.
The fearsome bowler has represented many domestic league sides such as Deccan Chargers, Brisbane Heat, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Jamaica Tallawahs.
In the twilight of his career, Steyn is leaving no stone unturned to play one last World Cup. He last played an ODI match against the Aussies on November 11, 2018.