Who will be playing their last World Cup?

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Published: Friday, February 4, 2011, 8:55 [IST]
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Who will be playing their last WC?

Playing in a World Cup is nothing new for them. But as they find themselves on the wrong side of 35, they are quickly approaching the end of their ODI careers, which in turn means, that the World Cup 2011 could be their final chance at wresting global glory. The World Cup swansongers are all seasoned campaigners, who have proved a penchant and prowess for the sport that makes them masters of their trade. They will be hoping that the upcoming World Cup will unfold as a fitting climax to their illustrious careers and provide them one last opportunity to stick a final feather in their caps.

Steve Tikolo,
Height: 5'9"
Date of Birth: June 25, 1971
ODI Debut: 1996
Matches: 129
Total Runs: 3377
Batting Average: 29.88
Strike Rate: 76.19
Total Wickets: 93
Bowling Average: 32.86
Economy Rate: 4.78
Catches: 67

A right-handed middle order batsman and an off-spinner, Steve Tokolo has been a stalwart for Kenya cricket. He is regarded as the best player among the associate countries although in recent times he has come in for competition from the Netherlands' Ryan ten Doeschate. Tikolo is the most prolific Kenya batsman, as of Jan 2007 possessing six of the nine highest scores by Kenyans. He astonishingly led his country to the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup and now at age 37 is likely to retire after the next global event in which he will no doubt be plotting some more upsets.

Ricky Ponting, 36:
Height: 5'7"
Date of Birth: Dec 19, 1974
ODI Debut: 1995
Matches: 352
Total Runs:13082
Batting Average: 42.75
Strike Rate: 80.62
Catches: 178

"Punter", as Ricky Ponting is affectionately called, has played in four World Cups and has tasted triumph in three of them. He is Australia's highest run-getter in both Tests and one-dayers, the most successful captain ever and has been part of 99 victories, the highest by anyone in the history of the game. He will undoubtedly be aiming to bring back the coveted global trophy one last time before hanging up his boots, although he is currently battling poor form which has coincided with his team's worst slump in years.

Brett Lee, 35:
Height: 6'1"
Date of Birth: Nov 8, 1976
Matches: 191
ODI Debut: 2000
Total Wickets: 334
Bowling Average: 22.91
Economy Rate: 4.72
Total Runs: 936
Batting Average: 16.42
Strike Rate: 81.17
Catches: 46

The fastest bowler in the world after Shoaib Akhtar, Australian speedster Brett Lee's charge has been marred by injury in recent times. But he has made a promising come back in the ongoing ODI series against England and appears raring to go for WC 2011. He was a key figure for Australia in the 2003 World Cup, ensnaring the second most number of wickets at 22, just behind Chaminda Vaas' haul of 23. He also played his part in his side's 2007 victory in the global event. But at 35, time is running out for the fast bowler who might be figuring in his last World Cup.

Paul Collingwood, 34
Height: 5'11"
Date of Birth: May 26, 1976
ODI Debut: 2001
Matches: 192
Total Runs: 5024
Batting Average: 36.63
Strike Rate: 76.62
Total Wickets: 110
Bowling Average: 37.98
Economy Rate: 4.96
Catches: 96

He is easily England's most successful captain, leading the side to its first world title - in the World Twenty20, 2010. He is a working class hero - a busy batsman, an aggressive fielder and an effective seamer. Having just last month announced his retirement from Test cricket, his one-day swansong may also be on the cards, indicating that this could be his last World Cup appearance and culminating opportunity to help England break its jinx in the tournament

Zaheer Khan
Height: 6'1"
Date of Birth: Oct 7, 1978
ODI Debut: 2000
Matches: 182
Wickets: 252
Bowling Average: 29.68
Economy Rate: 4.91
Batting Average: 12.71
Strike Rate: 73.22
Catches: 38

His career has spanned a decade and two World Cups, making him one of the longest surviving fast bowlers the country has seen. But at 32 years of age and with an increased frequency of recurring fitness problems, he could fast be approaching his expiry date. He will of course be looking to make one last impact in the upcoming World Cup. He's done well before on cricket's greatest stage, finishing the 2003 World cup as 4th highest wicket taker - 18 wickets from 11 matches at an average of 20 runs per wicket.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 36
Height: 5'7"
Date of Birth: Aug 16, 1974
ODI Debut: 1994
Matches: 262
Total Runs: 8661
Batting Average: 41.84
Strike Rate: 71.12

Currently, the West Indies oldest team member, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been a veteran of five World Cups. This prolific left-hander's first outing in the global event was perhaps his most successful, as he fell one good innings short of taking his side into the final of the 1996. Can he churn some magic out of his unusual front-on batting stance and end his 17-year-old career on a high?


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