Top 6 contenders for the 10,000 ODI runs club
Two decades ago, not even one player in the then 26-year-old history of the One Day International format had come close to achieving 10,000 career runs. When the prolific West Indian opening batsman Desmond Haynes retired in 1994, he sat pretty on top of the pile; at 8,648 runs, he was ahead of even the great Viv Richards. It seemed that overcoming his massive run tally would take some serious effort.
Only two years later, however, Mohammed Azharuddin overtook Haynes and it appeared that he would be the one to break new ground - until his career was cut short by controversy. Thankfully, at the turn of the century, Sachin Tendulkar emerged as the first (one among his many firsts) batsman to get to the magical figure.
In the 17 years since the little master got to the 10K landmark, 10 others have done so, with Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan being the latest entrant to the elite group. In fact, between 2004 and 2009, seven players made it onto this list. What was earlier a wondrous achievement is now quickly becoming a necessary pit-stop on the way to becoming an ODI great.
This decade, three Sri Lankans made their way onto the list to join Sanath Jayasuriya, thus making the emerald isle the largest contributor with four players out of the 11. In comparison, India has three. Entries on the list have slowed, with only three making it in the last eight years.
All three Sri Lankans who made the list this decade had made their debuts by the year 2000. It took them more than a decade of consolidating their run tally to get to the figure of 10,000. With the increasing amount of fixtures, however, batsmen are going to take fewer years to get to the landmark as time passes.
This year will most likely see a new entrant being welcomed into this club. A few more are on the cusp and should make it before the end of the decade.
Here are the top contenders to join 'Club 10,000' in this year or the next: