Retiring is a personal decision and it depends on every individual. Some players like to be very open about it and some keep it behind closed doors. But the timing of the retirement has become a key aspect and there are some who haven’t done that well in recent times.
There have been players who’ve done exceedingly well in their careers but they have faded away in the recent past. Age isn’t on their side either and there has been a lot of speculation around these big players. Thus, it seems like they are unnecessarily prolonging their careers. In fact, there have been quite a few big names who have prolonged their careers in the past and it’s no different now.
Here are five such players who currently seem to be extending their career unnecessarily:
1. Mashrafe Mortaza
It’s been nearly decades since Mashrafe Mortaza made his international debut. However, it hasn’t been easy for him with the number of injuries he’s battled with, especially in the first half of his career. Yet, he’s managed to play 36 Test matches, 217 ODIs and 54 T20Is.
In fact, Mortaza is one of the reasons for Bangladesh’s rise in white-ball cricket over the last few years. He’s led the team inspirationally and has been instrumental to their success. However, he has struggled in the recent past. The 36-year-old fast bowler has taken just eight wickets from 15 ODIs since January 2019.
Due to injuries, the Norail-born pacer bid adieu to Test cricket early and last played in 2009. He quit T20Is in 2017 but he still continues to play ODI cricket. He had admitted that he will retire after the 2019 World Cup but he continued playing. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have also announced that the upcoming series against Zimbabwe will be Mortaza’s last as captain.
2. Chris Gayle
Even at 40 years of age, Chris Gayle seems to be dominating attacks in T20 cricket. The explosive opener is still smoking them out of the park at will. But there have been times when he’s struggled to get big scores and that happens for a period of time before he gets his mojo back.
There’s little doubt over Gayle’s ability with the bat and what he brings to the table. However, his fitness and fielding is a liability. Moreover, he hardly features in international cricket. The last time the Universe Boss played for West Indies was against India in the ODIs after the 2019 World Cup. Moreover, he had also announced that it would be his last ODI series.
However, he later said that he would be unavailable until further notice. While he still is a big player in T20 cricket and leagues around the world but he is prolonging his international career unnecessarily.
3. Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik is one of the only few cricketers active who made their debut in the 20th century. The Pakistan off-spinning all-rounder first made an appearance in an international game in 1999 in an ODI against West Indies. There’s hardly anything that Malik cannot do on a cricket field.
He is a good fielder and his bowling is always handy in addition to his batting ability. The Sialkot-born player has featured in just 35 Test matches, the last of which came back in 2015. He retired from the longest format to concentrate on white-ball cricket.
He has played a staggering 113 T20Is and 287 ODI matches for Pakistan, averaging in excess of 30 in both those formats. However, after the 2019 World Cup, Malik announced his retirement from the 50-over format. He still continues to play the shortest format. But the 38-year-old hasn’t really looked at his best.
4. Dwayne Bravo
There have been quite a few players who’ve come out of retirement and Dwayne Bravo is the latest to do so. He’s had his fair share of problems with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Right from October 2014, there was a dispute between him and the WICB. Gradually, Bravo fell out of favour and eventually, one by one, retired from all formats.
However, West Indies cricket seems to be back on track for the moment. Kieron Pollard is at the helm and has led them really well in his short span as captain. Hence, Bravo has decided to come out of retirement in T20Is with the T20 World Cup in sight.
The seam bowling all-rounder has played 40 Tests, 164 ODIs and 69 T20Is, three of which came against Ireland in his comeback series. He did pick up five wickets across three games but didn’t have a big impact with the bat. Bravo’s ability has gone down and his performances have taken a hit as well in the recent past. Even in T20 leagues, he has been expensive with the ball and his contribution with the bat hasn’t been great. Hence, he seems to be unnecessarily dragging his career.
5. MS Dhoni
There’s absolutely no doubt that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will go down as arguably one of the greatest players to have donned the Indian jersey. He has been absolutely magnificent from the time he’s made his debut. He is one of the best cricketing brains and is arguably one of the best captains to have ever played the game.
For 15 years, Dhoni sealed India’s wicket-keeping spot and there was hardly anyone who challenged him. He has aggregated over 10,000 ODI runs at an average of over 50. He’s taken India home on numerous occasions and was one of the best finishers in world cricket. The Ranchi-born superstar had his share of success in the other two formats as well.
He quit playing Tests in 2014 but continued playing white-ball cricket. Dhoni was at his best but his powers seem to be on the wane for the last couple of years. The last time he donned an India jersey was in the heart-breaking semi-final defeat against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup. He’s on a sabbatical since then. There is no confirmation on his return but he will play the IPL.
However, Dhoni seems to be extending his career. There’s no doubt about his fitness or wicket-keeping but he’s past his prime with the bat.
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