15 Cricketers Playing Their Last World Cup.

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For most, age is against them while for few, injuries are just too much of a problem and hence, t hese cricketers with illustrious careers may be taking their last crack at the sport's biggest prize = the World cup.

Chris Gayle, 35: This colourful Jamaican has had the privilege of winning two major titles — the 2004 Champions Trophy and the 2012 World Twenty20 — something more accomplished teams failed to do. But the West Indies’ recent track record suggests they be too much trouble at the World Cup. Gayle’s own form is tapering. He continues to be dangerous but less consistently so, and this may be his final shot at the World Cup.

James Anderson, 32 : England’s most successful bowler in international cricket would be pushing 37 by the time the World Cup comes home in 2019. He’s been supremely fit through his career of 12 years. With 380 Test wickets and 264 ODI wickets, it could be said he has had a richly rewarding career at the top, and it seems unlikely he’ll be around the next time.

Shahid Afridi, 34: He’s Pakistan’s most influential cricketer since Imran Khan, yet it’s impossible to discuss the matter of Afridi’s age and retirement without a few sniggers. Since 2006, he has made four separate retirement announcements. The latest one was about quitting ODIs. Before he goes, here’s hoping he passes these ODI landmarks at the World Cup: 8000 runs, 400 wickets and a mind-boggling 350 sixes.

Younis Khan, 37: The ever-reliable Younis enters his 16 th year in international cricket. In his own unassuming manner, he’s amassed over 15,000 runs in international cricket. But a World Cup has eluded him. Pakistan will lean heavily on him at the tournament. Trust him to deliver, like he always does.

  1. Misbah-ul-Haq, 40: The Pakistan captain is the oldest man at the World Cup. He will retire from ODIs after the tournament. In a sense, he’s emulating Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to their only World Cup win in Australia in his 40 th year and retired immediately after. Misbah’s ability to absorb pressure and lend solidity to Pakistan’s middle order has been excellent, and he’ll want to go out on a high.

  2. Brendon McCullum, 33: The New Zealand captain has revived the fortunes of his team ever since he took over after Ross Taylor’s stormy term. The Black Caps have always played well as a unit, but their recent record under McCullum has been even more impressive. He has led by example and worked hard to pull New Zealand up to this position. But his battle-weary body has been through much wear and tear. It seems unlikely he would be around to serve

    Daniel Vettori, 36: At 18, Vettori became New Zealand’s youngest Test cricketer. He has spent most of the last four years recovering from an assortment of fitness problems, but has been brought back to the New Zealand squad for the World Cup, ostensibly to utilise his vast experience and give him one last shot at the World Cup. The stars have aligned perfectly for this veteran. Will he go out on a high?

    Rangana Herath, 36: Sri Lanka’s frontline spinner is playing his second, and probably his last, World Cup. Herath’s career did not take off till 2010, the year Muttiah Muralitharan retired from Tests. In that period of less than five years, Herath has amassed over 300 wickets in international cricket. Massively underrated, Herath’s economy rate could prove to be an asset to Sri Lanka at the World Cup.

    Tillakaratne Dilshan, 38: Dilshan’s ascendancy as a top-order batsman began only in 2009, hence it’s easy to forget that he’s been around a long, long time. He made his debut in 1999 as a 23-year-old. Having briefly suffered the strains of captaincy and its accompanying taxation on his personal form, Dilshan is ready for one last crack at the World Cup. He’s in fine touch, having made two hundreds and an eighty in the build-up against New

    Mahela Jayawardene Kumar Sangakkara, 37: These two giants of world cricket have faced three World Cup disappointments. In 2003, they lost the semi-final. In 2007 and 2011, they were runners-up. This year would be their last shot at cricket’s biggest prize. Mahela has retired from Tests to focus only on limited overs cricket. Sangakkara may have played his final Test but has been quiet about his future. Regardless of what may happen to Sri Lanka

    Shane Watson, 33: One of Australia’s key players in the modern era, Watson has copped huge criticism for not delivering on the faith posed in him. His survival through countless injuries has taken the edge of his abilities as a seam bowler. Hence he’s been operating primarily as a batsman—but his batting potency has been on the wane as well. If he doesn’t have a World Cup, Australia’s selecto

    Mitchell Johnson, 33: The leader of Australia’s pace attack, Johnson has had his share of ups and downs. From being a scattergun, Johnson has turned his career around and become one of the most feared fast bowlers in the world, bring a greater degree of accuracy to his high pace. But will he be around in 2019? It seems unlikely.

    Michael Clarke, 33: The Australia captain is on the verge of retirement, thanks to recurring injuries of the back and hamstring. His position at the 2015 World Cup is still tenuous. It’s unlikely that he’ll be around for the 2019 event in England and Wales.

    Brad Haddin, 37: The gutsy wicketkeeper has withstood much scrutiny. But his performances in the recent India Test series speak for themselves. He’s sharp with the gloves, reliable with the bat, and his run-ins with Virat Kohli show that he’s still got stomach for a fight. But he’s 37. There are younger wicketkeepers pressing for selection.

    MS Dhoni, 33: The Dhoni era has run its course. As India’s captain, he won every honour the sport had to offer. But Virat Kohli is ready to succeed him. So don’t be surprised if Dhoni steps down after India’s 2015 campaign which has been besieged by form and fitness problems. He still is one of the top ODI players in the world and may continue serving India in coloured clothing. The question is, can he last till 2019? Tough ask.

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