Not often that the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have entertained the inclusion of veteran players be it Indians or overseas stars. Players who featured in the league after turning 40 were quite rare and they were in countable number. Even the big names like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid played only one IPL season in the 40s. Till date, there has been only one player in the IPL history after turning 45 and Pravin Tambe could be the 2nd in the IPL 2020 as he was bought by the KKR team.
Here we look at the five oldest players in the history of the Indian Premier League:
5. Adam Gilchrist (41y 185d)
The former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist was well known for his stroke-play which perfectly suited the shorted format. It was one of the reasons why he was effective in the IPL scoring 2069 runs across 80 matches at a solid strike rate of 138.39 though he played after turning 35.
Gilchrist even led the Deccan Chargers to a title win in the 2009 season. He signed off his IPL and professional career at the end of 2013 edition while leading the Kings XI Punjab team.
At the time of his last match, Gilchrist was on 41 years and 185 days old. In his last game, he led KXIP to victory against Mumbai Indians, who went on to win the season. The keeper-batsman rolled his arm for the first time in his T20 career and claimed the wicket of Harbhajan Singh, who used to dismiss Gilchrist quite often. The left-hander was successful with the very first ball he bowled which turned out to be the only wicket he took in his professional career.
4. Shane Warne (41y 249d)
Shane Warne was well known for his skill with the ball that has made him quite successful in International cricket. However, his ability to lead a team was often undermined as he never got a chance to lead the Australian team despite featuring 145 Test matches. His captaincy skills were on display when he stood out as the only overseas player to lead a team in the inaugural edition.
He helped Rajasthan Royals to a title win in the 2008 season leading a team containing low profile players. Warne well past the age of 38 by that time and led the Royals in four seasons until 2011. He called off to his IPL career in 2011 after leading RR in their last league match against the Mumbai Indians. His last wicket in the league was Rohit Sharma that too in the 20th over of MI innings.
The Royals bid adieu to Warne by chasing down the target of 134 in only 13.1 overs without losing a wicket. The leg-spinner was 41 years and 249 days during his last game against MI. Even after his retirement from the IPL, Shane Warne featured in two editions of the Big Bash League playing for the Melbourne Stars. He finally called off his professional career in January 2013.
3. Muttiah Muralitharan (42y 35d)
Muttiah Muralitharan had a pretty long career in the IPL as he represented three different teams across the seven seasons he featured in. Murali represented Chennai Super Kings in the first three seasons and the new entrants Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the 2011 edition. He announced his International Cricket retirement at the end of the 2011 World Cup before becoming a full-time T20 league player.
He travelled for the Big Bash League and even for the Caribbean Premier League that began in 2013. Muralitharan’s last three seasons were spent at the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The off-spinner featured in 66 IPL matches and claimed 63 wickets without taking a 5-fer or even a 4-fer. However, his economy rate of 6.67 was something special.
Muralitharan played only five matches in the 2014 edition and the last of them was against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. He had a tough finish to his IPL career where he conceded 19 runs in two overs and the RCB ended 30 runs short of KKR’s total. Murali was 42 years and 35 days old at the time of his last IPL appearance, which was also his last professional match.
2. Pravin Tambe (44y 219d)
Pravin Tambe is the only Indian among the top five oldest players in the IPL history and has a realistic chance of climbing to the top of the list in the next season. Tambe, who has crossed 48 in the age, was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders at his base price during the auction held for the 2020 IPL. If he gets into the playing XI in at least one game, he will become the oldest player in the IPL at the age of 48.
The most interesting part about Tambe playing in the IPL 2020 will be without any experience at the professional level for nearly three years. He last played an official match was Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2017 for Mumbai. With limited-overs tournaments in the 2019/20 domestic season are over, Tambe is likely to not play any match in this season either ahead of the IPL 2020.
This might not be a new thing for Tambe who came into the IPL in 2013 at the age of 41 without playing a first-class match or List A match of Twenty20 game. Between 2013 and 2016, the leg-spinner featured in 33 IPL matches and the last one was for the Gujarat Lions against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Tambe was 44 years and 219 days old during that game played in Bangalore.
1. Brad Hogg (45y 92d)
The former Australian spinner Brad Hogg announced his retirement at the end of 2007/08 home season but made a comeback in 2011/12 and lasted longer than expected. The chinaman bowler returned to cricket to represent the Perth Scorchers in the inaugural edition of the BBL. His efforts with the ball helped him to seal an IPL contract with the Rajasthan Royals in 2012 after turning 41.
In the 2013 edition, he was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders and represented them in 2015 and 2016 as well. His exploits in BBL even helped Hogg to feature in the 2014 World T20. Brad Hogg played a total of 21 IPL matches taking 23 wickets including a 4-wicket haul. His last IPL game was in May 2016 against the Gujarat Lions where he had figures of 2-0-19-1 in KKR’s 5-wicket loss.
Hogg was 45 years and 92 days old during that match; the oldest time any player featured in an Indian Premier League match till date. Hogg, however, continued to feature in the Big Bash League and played two seasons after his IPL retirement. He signed off his professional career in 2017/18 season two weeks before his 47th birthday while representing the Melbourne Renegades.
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