As the frenzy and anticipation of the semifinals and the finale are due just within the week, the Cricket World Cup will be throwing up newer reasons to rejoice and newer champions to celebrate. Yet as every good thing nearing its end, this edition of the tournament also has not been free from quite a few heartaches. From South Africa failing to put off their choker tag to old veterans not living quite upto the mark, the game has seen it all. Inevitably, a host of the old guns will be bidding goodbye to the cricketing world either now or at least some time hence. Here are 7 such cricketing legends whom you might not see in the next World Cup-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the name that spells myriad emotions for a nation of cricket crazy Indian fans. The only player who have clinched each of the sport’s coveted trophies as captain, Dhoni’s passing away into oblivion will be a very sad state of affairs for every MS lover. Yet going by his recent spate of bizarre form, the decorated cricketer’s retirement is only a stalled prospect.
Be it his lukewarm performance against Bangladesh or his refusal to run singles during the World Cup match against England, Dhoni most certainly is past his prime. And while the veteran cricketer has not himself given words to all speculations surrounding his retirement, it is only a matter of time before the issue crops up in a magnified intensity. Perhaps it is only the World cup tournament that is set to be wrapped up majestically before the old warhorse is bade a grand farewell, much the way he deserves it.
Perhaps there is no power hitter in the world of international cricket whose shots are as magnificent a ride as West Indies’ prolific batsman Chris Gayle. And even when he has had a fairly decent run in the ongoing tournament, Gayle’s time as the man behind the fireworks on field might be as good as over. In fact, Gayle had himself talked about his retirement plans sometime at the start of the year but has gone on his trademark astonishing style to wanting to play at least a Test against India. As of now however, with West Indies out of the World Cup fray, Chris Gayle’s histrionics on the world stage have only meek hopes of a redemption.
South African Hashim Amla is the next name who is strongly speculated to be considering retirement post the 2019 World Cup. A splendid career ravaged by injuries might have drained Amla of most of his notably deserving performances, but the terrific batsman still continued undaunted for a good decade after making his debut in 2008. Post the 2019 World Cup however, Hashim Amla might be finally in the fray for retirement.
Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has already announced his retirement from competitive cricket after the last group match of his team against Bangladesh in the ongoing tournament. Despite winning the game, Pakistan bowed out of the competition owing to a lower net run rate. Malik, though, had not much of a role to play in this year’s edition of the World Cup, scoring only eight runs from three outings.
During his hey days, Lasith Malinga had been a force to reckon with as a bowling spearhead. Years after, a decade and a half later to be precise, he still has the sting to him and he has proved it even in this edition of the World Cup tournament. But as Sri Lanka bowed out of the tournament this Saturday after a loss to India, it also meant curtains on an illustrious career of the forever fan favorite Lasith Malinga.
For veteran New Zealand cricketer Ross Taylor, a late career resurgence has put him strongly in favour to make it matter after almost thirteen years of making a debut. The Kiwi who boasts of the most number of centuries, Taylor might sure have a few years’ of cricket left in him but at 35, he acknowledges that the current World Cup tournament might be his final attempt at clinching the coveted trophy.
Another South African player for whom the 2019 World Cup will be his last is Imran Tahir. Tahir also became the oldest player ever to play a World Cup for South Africa, also claiming the first wicket of the tournament in the process. However, Tahir’s retirement plans weren’t an outcome of South Africa’s run in the tournament as he had made the decision to hang up his boots as early back as in March.
But no matter how these gentleman of the game might have fared in their swansong tournament, they will continue to live on among cricket aficionados with their rich contribution and richer legacy. For now, we can only keep our fingers crossed to give these legends the farewell they very much deserve!