The 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup, to be played in England and Wales from May 30, will witness many new players making their debut in the mega quadrennial event. However, there will be some legends and senior players too for whom ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 could be the last time when they will be fighting for the trophy.
Here is a list of players who may retire before the 2023 World Cup.MS Dhoni (India)
MS Dhoni has been an asset for the Indian side since his debut in 2003. Speculations are rife that the wicketkeeper-batsman will hang up his boots after his upcoming outing in the mega event. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India bagged the 2007 ICC World T20 and 2011 World Cup.
Though Dhoni is not at the helm of affairs any more, since stepping down from the position in 2017, his contribution with the bat is still significant. With 10,500 runs, Dhoni became the fourth Indian to cross the 10K mark. In addition to it, his safe hands behind the stumps dismissed as many as 432 batsmen, including many game-changing wickets.
It is evident that the men in blue will be having a tough time after Dhoni’s retirement as no one matches his tactical acumen.
Chris Gayle (West Indies)
In February this year, Windies southpaw Chris Gayle announced that he would retire after the 2019 World Cup.With 10,151 runs behind him, Gayle is the second leading run scorer for Windies in ODIs after Brian Lara.
The 39-year-old Jamaican has some unbelievable records against his name, including a 215 off 147 against Zimbabwe in 2015 World Cup. Quite famous for butchering the bowlers, Gayle stands second in the category of six-hitters by tonking the ball 314 times out of the park.
Considering his recent form in IPL (490 runs in 13 matches), the ‘Universe boss’ may play a spoiler for his opponents in the upcoming World Cup.
Imran Tahir (South Africa)
Imran Tahir, who extended his 2018/19 contract with Cricket South Africa by three months, is all set to retire from ODIs as soon as the World Cup ends. However, the 40-year-old has made it clear that he will keep playing Twenty20 internationals for South Africa.
The leggie, more than his googlies, is famous for his wild celebration after taking a wicket.
In the recently-concluded IPL, the tactful-spinner bagged the purple cap with 26 wickets in 16 matches. With a bowling average of 16.31 in the World Cup, Tahir can be a big threat for the batsmen.
Mohammed Shami (India)
The career of Mohammad Shami has been a roller-coaster ride in the recent years, but the champion bowler bounced back as a much better version of himself. The pace spearhead became the fastest Indian bowler to take 100 wickets in ODIs and is currently in sublime form.
Along with his impeccable line and length, the 29-year-old is hitting the deck harder at knots. And it is his consistency that bought him the ticket to England for the 2019 ICC World Cup.
However, rumours suggest the pace spearhead may retire from international cricket after the mega event.
Shoaib Malik (Pakistan)
Shoaib Malik had announced last year his retirement from international cricket after playing the 2019 World Cup. The Pakistan all-rounder is the fifth highest run scorer for Pakistan with 7481 runs from 282 ODIs and 156 wickets against his name.
Malik is the only player in the current Pakistan team to have played cricket in the 1990s. Experience of the 37-year-old will play a crucial role in close matches.
JP Duminy (South Africa)
JP Duminy, in March this year, announced his retirement post World Cup. The 35-year-old is among the top ten run scorers for the Proteas with 5,047 runs in 194 matches.
During the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Duminy became the first South African to take a hat-trick in a World Cup match. He achieved this feat playing against Sri Lanka.
The classy left-hander will be hoping for a good tournament ahead, both with the bat and the ball.
Dale Steyn (South Africa)
The right-arm “Steyn gun” has haunted many world-class batsmen since his debut in the year 2005. Though the pacer has been suffering from shoulder injury in the recent years, the statement of South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson suggests that the fireball will be on track before the mega event kicks off. He is one of the players who may call it a day after the upcoming World Cup.