With just a few days left for the start of the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, excitement is high among cricket fans. They are eagerly waiting to watch their favourite stars in action.
The 10-team tournament runs from May 30 to July 14 and there are several seasoned superstars who are set to feature in their final World Cup.
Here are 10 cricketers who could be playing in their last World Cup.
MS Dhoni (37), arguably, India’s greatest ODI captain, is most certain to not feature in the next World Cup which will be held in India. Having given the country its second World Cup title in 2011 after a gap of 28 years, captain Dhoni’s iconic six to seal the final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011, is etched in the annals of cricket history. Now, he would be eyeing another title under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. This will be Dhoni’s fourth World Cup, having made his big tournament debut in 2007 where India exited in the first round.
Chris Gayle (39) has already announced that he will retire from ODIs after the World Cup in England and Wales. A stalwart in Caribbean cricket and known for his big-hitting not only at the international stage but in domestic Twenty20 leagues, the Jamaican left-hander will want to bow out on a high.
After delivering under pressure for Mumbai Indians to claim a record fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) title recently, Lasith Malinga (35) is also set to feature in his last World Cup. The right-armer’s experience will be key for Sri Lanka, who are not among the favourites to claim the trophy this time.
Shoaib Malik (37) made his ODI debut in October 1999 and is still going strong. His experience will be missed for Pakistan when he decided to call it quits. As always, Pakistan are ranked as the dark horse at this World Cup. And Malik’s inputs to skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will prove vital as to how the team will go.
Ross Taylor (35) is one of the main batsmen for New Zealand. He is set to feature his final World Cup appearance.
Dale Steyn (35), one of the fastest and most feared bowlers in world cricket is most likely to bow out of international cricket after the World Cup. With a good bowling attack to boast of, South Africa will be hoping to end World Cup drought. After their heart-breaking loss to New Zealand in the previous edition’s semi-final, the Proteas, without the retired AB de Villiers, need Steyn and his fast bowling colleagues to fire in order to go all the way to the title.
The experienced Hashim Amla (36), who has been prolific in the 50-over format, is set to bid adieu to World Cup after the tournament in England and Wales. He has been one of the main pillars of South African batting.
JP Duminy (35) is another South African who is set for his final World Cup.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir (40) was outstanding in the recently concluded IPL 2019 as he bagged the Purple Cap, being the highest wicket-taker (26) in the tournament. He would want to make it a grand double with World Cup medal as well. Fans will be eagerly waiting to see his running celebrations.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza (35) is also certain to feature in his last World Cup.