Who'll be playing their last WC? Part2

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Published: Saturday, February 5, 2011, 9:04 [IST]
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Who'll be playing their last WC? Part2

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.

Scott Styris, 35
Height: 5'10"
Date of Birth: July 10, 1975
ODI Debut: 1999
Total Runs: 4274
Batting Average: 32.62
Strike Rate: 78.85
Total Wickets: 131
Bowling Average: 35.37
Economy Rate: 4.74
Catches: 69

Scott Styris is a reliable middle-order batsman and a pugnacious medium pace bowler as well. He has a good cup record, averaging 69.2 in just 18 matches and had especially noteworthy 2007 World Cup, picking up 9 wickets at 26.88 runs per scalp and finishing as the tournament's fourth highest run-scorer with an aggregate of 499 and an average of 83.16. He will be 40 years old the next time the World Cup rolls around, so this could very well be his last shot at making an impact in the tournament and reverse his side's losing trend.

Shoaib Akhtar, 35
Height: 5'10"
Date of Birth: August 13, 1975
ODI Debut: 1998
Total Wickets: 242
Bowling Average: 24.69
Economy Rate: 4.76
Total Runs: 392
Batting Average: 9.11
Strike Rate: 73.96
Catches: 20

Once the fastest bowler in the world, Shoaib Akhtar's efficacy seems to be on the wane and as his captain Shahid Afridi hinted, this former strike bowler may only have a limited role in the upcoming quadrennial event. He will obviously want to make the most of the opportunity as it appears very likely to be his last. Shoaib was part of the runners-up team in the 1999 World Cup and bowled a delivery at 161 KMPH (the fastest ever recorded ball) in the 2003 event.

Jacques Kallis, 35
Height: 6'0"
Date of Birth: Oct 16, 1975
ODI Debut: 1996
Matches: 307
Total Runs: 11,002
Batting Average: 45.84
Strike Rate: 72.77
Total Wickets: 259
Bowling Average: 31.90
Economy Rate: 4.82
Catches: 116

The finest all-rounder South Africa has ever produced, Jacques Kallis still doesn't seem to be past his prime. But age and a more regular frequency of injury might be catching up with him.
Kallis has seen many World Cup heart-breaks: the quarterfinal in 1996, semi-finals in 1999 and 2007, and the rain-rule blunder of 2003. His team has a point to prove in 2011 and so does he. He was the 5th highest run scorer in the last World Cup and at the rate he's going, he could be high up on the table this time around as well.

Muttiah Muralitharan, 38
Height: 5'7"
Date of Birth: April 17, 1972
ODI Debut:1993
Matches: 340
Total Wickets: 517
Bowling Average: 23.19
Economy Rate: 3.92
Total Runs: 667
Batting Average: 6.80
Strike Rate: 77.10
Catches: 129

It goes without saying that Muralitharan is the most successful international bowler ever. He is the first from our list of World Cup swansongers who has officially declared that he will quit the international scene after the upcoming global tournament, having already thrown in the towel where Tests are concerned. 800 wickets for him in the longer form of the game and now he would probably want to say goodbye to one-dayers with a bang as well. He was part of the 1996 World Cup winning squad from Sri Lanka. Now will his team help him to pull an encore?

Tillakaratne Dilshan, 34
Date of Birth: Oct 14, 1976
ODI Debut: 1999
Matches: 192
Total Runs: 4915
Batting Average: 35.35
Strike Rate: 87.30
Total Wickets: 54
Bowling Average: 42.90
Economy Rate: 4.76
Catches: 81

Dilshan has been a late bloomer, coming of age as a deadly batsman and a force to reckon with, with the ball as well. He has been one of the premier batsmen for his side and along with Jayawardene is the backbone of the Sri Lankan batting. He has shown that he is quite an innovator as well, having invented the 'dilscoop' shot. He is one of an aging breed of Sri Lankan players and might not be around in 2015.

Sachin Tendulkar, 37
Height: 5'5"
Date of Birth: Apr 24, 1973
ODI Debut:1989
Matches: 444
Batting Average: 44.97
Strike Rate: 86.18
Wickets: 154
Bowling Average: 44.26
Economy Rate: 5.10
Catches: 134

He has a World Cup average of nearly 50 and an aggregate of around 1,800 runs in the tournament. He he is the proud owner of almost every batting record there is, but a World Cup triumph has eluded him five times. He was instrumental in getting India to the semi-finals of the 1996 edition and the finals of the 2003 one. Now, his team look set to bring home the trophy. Will he and they meet expectations head on?


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