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5 cricketers who are extending their playing careers

  • Do successful cricketers know when to quit the game? Here's looking at five players who are prolonging their international careers.
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 13 Mar 2020, 09:02 IST

India & CSK
India & CSK's MS Dhoni

Retiring is a personal decision and it depends on every individual. Some players like to be very open about it and some keep mum about it. But the timing of the retirement has become a key aspect and there are some who haven’t done that too well in recent times.

There have been players who’ve done exceedingly well in their careers but they have faded away in the recent past. Age isn’t on their side either and there has been a lot of speculation around these big players. They are neither helping their fans nor the team management by not giving a clear picture of where they stand with regards to their international career.

It is indeed fair to allow players to take the all important call of retirement, but it musn't be a case of 'When'? vs 'Why now'? Most respected, renowned cricketers who may be in the fag end of their playing careers deserve to go out on a high and more importantly need to keep their fans informed about their plans.

Here's looking at five such players who currently seem to be extending their playing career more than it's required for various reasons:

Chris Gayle

West Indies batsman Chris
West Indies batsman Chris 'Universe Boss' Gayle

Even at 40 years of age, Chris Gayle seems to be dominating attacks in T20 cricket. The explosive opener is still smoking them out of the park at will. But there have been times when he’s struggled to get big scores and that happens for a period of time before he gets his complete form back.

There’s little doubt over Gayle’s ability with the bat and what he brings to the table. However, his fitness and fielding is a liability. Moreover, he hardly features in international cricket. The last time the Universe Boss played for West Indies was against India in the ODIs after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Moreover, he had also announced that it would be his last ODI series.

However, he later said that he would be unavailable until further notice. While he still is a big player in T20 cricket and leagues around the world, he must admit it himself that it's not feasible for him to represent his country for too long. Probably he could put an end to all speculation and return to the T20I team and sign off from international cricket with a bang post the ICC World T20.

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Mashrafe Mortaza

Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Mortaza

It’s been nearly decades since Mashrafe Mortaza made his international debut. However, it hasn’t been easy for him with the number of injuries he’s battled with, especially in the first half of his career. Yet, he’s managed to play 36 Test matches, 217 ODIs and 54 T20Is.

In fact, Mortaza is one of the reasons for Bangladesh’s rise in white-ball cricket over the last few years. He’s led the team fabulously and has been instrumental to their success. However, he has struggled in the recent past. The 36-year-old fast bowler has taken just eight wickets from 15 ODIs since January 2019. Due to injuries, the Norail-born pacer bid adieu to Test cricket early and last played in 2009. He quit T20Is in 2017 but he still continues to play ODI cricket.

Probably its time for Mortaza to accept reality and move on from international cricket. There is no dearth as far as talent goes in Bangaldesh so the former skipper can go out feeling good about the prospects of his country's future assignments.

Dwayne Bravo

West Indian All-rounder Dwayne Bravo
West Indian All-rounder Dwayne Bravo

There have been quite a few players who’ve come out of retirement and Dwayne Bravo is the latest to do so. He’s had his fair share of problems with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Right from October 2014, there was a dispute between him and the WICB. Gradually, Bravo fell out of favour and eventually he slowly retired from all formats.

Kieron Pollard is at the helm and has led them really well in his short span as captain in LOIs. Hence, Bravo has decided to come out of retirement in T20Is with the T20 World Cup in sight. Whether he manages to stay fit and perform consistently until the ICC World T20 has to be seen. CSK and their fans would certainly want DJ to perform at his best, grooving to the 'Champion Dance'.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni(MSD)

India
India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni

There’s absolutely no doubt that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will go down as arguably one of the greatest players to have donned the Indian jersey. He has been absolutely magnificent from the time he’s made his debut. He is one of the best cricketing brains and is arguably one of the best captains to have ever played the game.

For 15 years, Dhoni sealed India’s wicket-keeping spot and there was hardly anyone who challenged him. He has aggregated over 10,000 ODI runs at an average of over 50. He’s taken India home on numerous occasions and was one of the best finishers in world cricket.

He quit playing Tests in 2014 but continued playing white-ball cricket. Dhoni was at his best but his powers seem to be on the wane for the last couple of years. The last time he donned an India jersey was in the heart-breaking semi-final defeat against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup. He’s on a personal sabbatical since then. There is no confirmation on his return but he will play the IPL and the selectors have said he could be selected for India based on his performances in IPL 2020.

Shoaib Malik

Pakistan
Pakistan's all-rounder Shoaib Malik

Shoaib Malik is one of the only few cricketers active who made their debut in the 20th century. The Pakistan off-spinning all-rounder first made an appearance in an international game in 1999 in an ODI against West Indies. There’s hardly anything that Malik cannot do on a cricket field.

He is a good fielder and his bowling is always handy in addition to his batting ability. The Sialkot-born player has featured in just 35 Test matches, the last of which came back in 2015. He retired from the longest format to concentrate on white-ball cricket.

Published 13 Mar 2020, 09:02 IST
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