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ICC World Cup 2019: Five players who will be playing their final edition

kohli

Bengaluru, May 25: The ICC World Cup 2019 will start in another five days. The quadrennial event is a top sporting draw this year as it will see the world’s best 10 teams and the best talents competing to win the prestigious trophy.

ICC World Cup Special Page | Full Schedule

Australia are the defending champions and will be looking to win their sixth title while India and the West Indies are in the hunt for their third and Pakistan and Sri Lanka for their second. However, hosts England are being considered the top favourites to win their maiden trophy this time.

As far as the players are concerned, this World Cup will also be the final one for a number of top achievers the game has seen over the years. We list five such names that have gloriously served cricket and for whom the cricketing world will hope for a worthy farewell in this edition.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India):

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India):

The 37-year-old wicket-keeper-batsman will be the only former World Cup-winning captain playing in this tournament. Dhoni’s chances of playing in his fourth World Cup had come under some cloud as his batting form had plummeted but he made a terrific come back this year with the willow.

His glovework still remains electric and the added advantage of having MSD in the team is that he serves as captain Virat Kohli’s third eye from behind the stumps. Can Dhoni win the second 50-over World Cup of his career this time?

Dale Steyn (South Africa):

Dale Steyn (South Africa):

The South African speedster will turn 36 during the tournament and the Proteas will be expecting the man to bow out gracefully after CWC 2019.

Steyn, who has nearly 700 wickets in international cricket and will be playing in his third edition after 2011 and 2015, will be giving one final try to help the Proteas win their first title. The bowler has made a good comeback from injury in recent times and though there was a scare for him and SA during the recent Indian Premier League, the fighter in Steyn is eager to bury the ghosts of 2015.

Chris Gayle (West Indies):

Chris Gayle (West Indies):

Just months short of turning 40, the ‘Universe Boss’ remains one of those few players who had made their debut in the 20th century. Gayle will be playing in his fifth and final World Cup this year and do all it takes to lead a Caribbean resurgence.

Gayle had an incredible outing with the bat against England in a ODI series at home recently and he was so overjoyed with this form that he jokingly said that he would reconsider retirement from one-day cricket, something that he had thought of doing after the WC. Owner of 10k runs in the 50-over format and also a double hundred in the World Cup, the world will be eager to see Gayle going berserk on the highest stage one final time.

Imran Tahir (South Africa):

Imran Tahir (South Africa):

Tahir’s wild celebrations after taking a wicket will be one of the top draws of the World Cup this year. The 40-year-old Pakistani-born leg-spinner has already announced that he would retire from the ODIs after the World Cup and that will make him extra inspired to go for his team’s maiden trophy.

Tahir currently has 162 scalps from 98 ODI games and he had taken 4 for 41 in his debut ODI which was against the West Indies in the 2011 WC in the sub-continent. This will be the hairband spinners’ third and final edition.

Martin Guptill (New Zealand):

Martin Guptill (New Zealand):

One of the batting heroes of the 2015 World Cup who had slammed 237 not out in the quarter-final against the Windies, Martin Guptill is also likely to play in his final World Cup.

The 32-year-old New Zealander missed the game for the most part of 2018 because of injury and returned to the side early this year and hit three centuries. With 6,440 runs from 169 matches, Guptill will remain one of the Black Caps’ experienced caps in this World Cup as they will try to better their 2015 record to lift their maiden title.

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Story first published: Saturday, May 25, 2019, 17:08 [IST]
Other articles published on May 25, 2019
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