Five players likely to retire after World T20

By AFP
Published: March 7, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: The World Twenty20 opens on Tuesday, starting with the preliminary phase. Here are five players considered likely to retire from international cricket after the tournament:

MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI (India)

PHOTO: AFP

Dhoni, then sporting long hair, entered Indian folklore when he captained the country to the inaugural World T20 title in 2007. Nine years later and if hosts India become the first country to lift the trophy for a second time, anticipation is high that “Captain Cool” will decide the time is right to walk away from international cricket. The 34-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has already retired from Tests and despite remaining the brains behind India’s on-field strategy, there is gathering evidence that his best playing days are behind him.

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SHAHID AFRIDI (Pakistan)

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan legend Afridi quit Test cricket in 2010 and ODIs after last year’s World Cup, and the destructive batsman that fans call “Boom Boom” clearly has retirement on his mind. The 36-year-old, Pakistan’s T20 skipper, has seen a big dip in his batting form over the last few years and more recently his leg-spinners have also failed to trouble batsmen. His decline, including poor performances against New Zealand in January and England in November, has coincided with a slump in form for Pakistan in T20 internationals. “I have to look at the results of the team in the Asia Cup and then at World Twenty20 and that will help me take a final decision,” Afridi told AFP recently.

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LASITH MALINGA (Sri Lanka)

PHOTO: AFP

Malinga, 32, is the highest wicket-taker in T20 history and captained Sri Lanka to the World Twenty20 crown two years ago. His ability to bowl yorkers at will as he spearheaded Sri Lanka’s pace attack has made him a mainstay of the island’s recent success in short-form cricket. Major injuries have curtailed his career, however. Malinga gave up Tests at a relatively young age in 2011, had ankle surgery three years later and then suffered a grave knee injury in 2015. “If at this stage I have to take one or one-and-a-half years of rest, I would rather have to finish my career,” Malinga said during the Asia Cup.

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SHANE WATSON (Australia)

PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

Shane Watson has consistently defied critics to bounce back into the Australian side after serious injuries, and was the highest earner in this year’s Indian Premier League auction. But at 34, time is surely running out for Watson on the international stage. After quitting Test cricket following last year’s Ashes defeat to England, Watson was dropped from the ODI squad and admitted that a return to the international team was unlikely. But a successful season with the Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Big Bash League earned Watson a berth for this year’s series against India.

TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN (Sri Lanka)

PHOTO: AFP

Popular opener Tillakaratne Dilshan has enjoyed a lengthy career and is an expert exponent of T20 cricket, thanks in part to his invention of the “Dilscoop”, a reverse flip-shot played over his head. But at age 39, the former Sri Lankan captain is unlikely to be able to put off retirement for much longer.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Mar 7, 2016 - 2:02PM

    It will be heartening to see Afridi retire. However, Malinga and Watson still have cricket left in them. SalamsRecommend

  • Osman Ali
    Mar 7, 2016 - 3:26PM

    It would have been better for us if Afridi retires before the worldt20 but man such a selfish player who says that even after the t20cup he will consider it.Recommend

  • MahindraSinghDhoni
    Mar 7, 2016 - 3:42PM

    Mark my words, political pawns Akmals and Hafeez (who can only bat now) are not going to perform and will continue to play on!Recommend

  • ABC
    Mar 7, 2016 - 5:05PM

    Afridi should have retired at least two years ago. Such a burden on national team along with Hafeez and AkmalsRecommend

  • Mar 8, 2016 - 12:05AM

    Pakistan should attend the icc world t20 2016 because Pakistan is already on 7 or 6 position in t20 so if they will go through the semifinals they can get good position but Indian people’s are not letting them come if indians will keep doing like this then the government will not send Pakistan team in India if Pakistan will not attend the World Cup they will get a very low position and in they will be in loss this is a shameful thing for india that are not letting Pakistan attend the world Cup Recommend

  • Saad
    Mar 8, 2016 - 10:20AM

    Cricket is a pressure game. People make random comments about Afridi ignoring the fact that he is among the few who do perform under pressure and world cup is a pressure game. You’ve already witnessed the performance in Asia Cup of top performers from local T20 version.

    If there is one guy which everyone hopes can turn around the game, its Afridi, Pakistan’s wild card from the T20 worldcup.Recommend

  • MUSA
    Mar 8, 2016 - 1:58PM

    Please check Afridi batting and bowling record in all world cups since 1999 he is the worse in terms of average in bowling and batting. Pakistan team doesn’t deserve to go to the world cup with such useless players. India will do us a favour if they ban us from playing in india.Recommend

  • ayoub maqbool
    Mar 8, 2016 - 9:10PM

    Their was only one talent in pak naMe Haris suhail but due to currpt policies of pak bord merit z always under dark shadows…..Recommend

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