The 2019 World Cup in England is less than a year away. Like every time, the mega event will likely be the last tournament for many greats of the game who are coming to the end of their long careers. Here is a look at five players who can retire after the 2019 World Cup.
This has been long speculated. And the 2019 World Cup seems very likely to be the last international tournament that MS Dhoni will play. He will be 38 years old by the time the World Cup in England will be done and though Dhoni is super fit, one just can’t see him continuing beyond that. He has already been struggling with erratic form and with the emergence of talented wicket-keeper batsmen like Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson it is only prudent that Dhoni makes his way out after contributing for India one final time in the big tournament.
Chris Gayle (West Indies)
At 38 years of age, Chris Gayle is already at the brink of his career end. He has been struggling with form and fitness over the last couple of years and we only get to see flashes of his brilliance nowadays. West Indies now has a good set of players for the top of the order and with Gayle not being able to contribute much he is unlikely to be considered after the World Cup. Gayle’s experience will come in handy in the big tournament. But expect Gayle to bow out of international cricket after that and only focus on franchise cricket.
Dale Steyn (South Africa)
Having just returned from a long injury, Dale Steyn is hungry for success. He has been one of the greatest fast bowlers of this generation but regular injuries over the past few years have hindered his progress. Steyn will be 36 by the time the World Cup begins and presently he is desperate to make a return to the ODI setup as well. It is very likely that the South African management will ease Steyn back into the ODI fold just for the World Cup as his inexperience and talent is invaluable. After that, however, Steyn would likely retire from ODIs and only focus on the longer format.
Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh)
Mashrafe Mortaza has been a giant of Bangladesh cricket, there is no denying that. An inspiring captain and a wily seam bowler, Mortaza has always been the guiding light for Bangladesh these past many years. However, with age his fitness has suffered and he is not half the bowler he once used to be. Mashrafe often struggles with cramps and is unable to give it his all while bowling these days. He has loads of experience and that will be vital for his team in the 2019 World Cup – a place where he led Bangladesh to the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. But after the tournament, it will be surprising if he doesn’t bid the game adieu as he has lost much of his zing and Bangladesh also has a good amount of young bowlers coming in.
Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
For the last decade, Ross Taylor has been an integral part of New Zealand’s set up. Through countless match-winning performances, Taylor has become the backbone of New Zealand’s middle-order. And today, when many of his past colleagues like Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori have left, Taylor continues to go strong. Taylor, however, will be 35 years of age at the time of the 2019 World Cup and one can’t see him moving beyond that. He has been in form and New Zealand will be counting on him to come good in the 2019 World Cup. But knowing Taylor he would like to go out on a high and let younger talents take his place after the World Cup.