T20 World Cup - Players playing in their last World Cup

For a number of players, the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA will be their last major tournament. This may be because of age or a desire to escape the constant pressure of playing for their countries. In other cases, there is a desire to play more franchise cricket as they look to maximize their earnings over what remains of their careers.

David Warner

Australian opener David Warner has already retired from test and ODI cricket. He will also stop playing in the T20 format for his country after this World Cup, instead focusing on his franchise career.

Warner won the T20 World Cup with Australia in 2021, was part of the team that won the ODI equivalent in 2015 and 2023, and the World Test Championship last year.

Normally, somebody who had scored 19,000 international runs for their country would be celebrated, but as the player himself admits, his legacy will forever be tarnished by the events of Sandpapergate.

Warner, along with captain Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, was found guilty of ball tempering during a test against South Africa. Warner and Smith were banned from cricket for a year, and although subsequently rehabilitated in the Australian team, Waner was further penalized by not being allowed to hold another leadership position with them again.

He is now looking forward to not being booed everywhere he goes.

Kane Williamson

New Zealand has an enviable record of success in major tournaments in recent years, but this time, they were knocked out of the competition at the group stage.

That decision prompted Kane Williamson to announce that he was quitting as their white ball skipper—he had given up the test captaincy 18 months previously—and he also rejected the chance of a central contract with them.

Williamson has reaffirmed his commitment to New Zealand cricket and will make himself available for their matches in the World Test championships. However, he is much less clear about whether he will continue to play T20I cricket for them. Like Warner, he will likely play far more franchise cricket.

Trent Boult

Williamson is following a path already trodden by fast bowler Trent Boult several years earlier. He, too, had rejected a central contract but continued to play for New Zealand at major tournaments and remained one of their main strike bowlers.

Like Williamson, who was part of the New Zealand team that won the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021, he has played his last game for his country and has now retired from all formats of international cricket.

New Zealand has a big hole to fill regarding its opening bowling. Boult had the proud record of bowling at least one over inside the first six overs of every T20I in which he played, and, together with fast bowler partner Tim Southee, they had taken a combined total of 49 wickets in the powerplay overs.

Virat Kohli 

It remains to be seen how long Virat Kohli will continue playing international cricket, although comments in recent months hint that he is already making retirement plans.

In fact, some quarters had thought he had already decided to give up T20I cricket—he did not make himself available for India in the format from the end of the T20 World Cup in 2022 before making his comeback in the series against Afghanistan this January.

And despite ranking second when it comes to T20I runs to Babar Azam of Pakistan, there remains ambiguity about his continued place in the side among some Indian supporters. For example, although he won the Orange Cap for the most runs in the Indian Premier League, there was almost as much focus on his strike rate as on his performances with the bat.

He has struggled with the bat at this tournament and, playing against the USA, was out for his first-ever golden duck at a T20 World Cup.

After years of being constantly in the spotlight, Kohli may prefer a quieter life.

Rohit Sharma

The same might be said of Rohit Sharma, the man who inherited the Indian captaincy from Kohli and who is two years older. Third on the all-time T20I run list, like Kohli, he has found runs hard to come by at this World Cup, and their opening partnership has yet to catch fire.

Like Kohli, he did not play a single T20I for more than 15 months, and in his absence, Hardik Pandya took over as captain, presaging what was to happen at the Mumbai Indians ahead of their Indian Premier League season.

He has previously admitted that he will call time on his international career if he is not playing well enough. If he succeeds in leading India to World Cup success and ending their long ICC trophy drought, that may be the ideal time to go.

Moeen Ali

All-rounder Moeen Ali has been a fine servant to English cricket and was part of the team that won the ODI World Cup in 2019 and the T20 version in 2022.

He had already retired from test cricket before an injury crisis saw him coaxed back for the Ashes series last summer, although he subsequently made it known that he was done with the format.

However, he has just celebrated his 37th birthday and knows England now wants to rebuild with a younger generation of players.

Adil Rashid

Fellow spin bowler Adil Rashid is also playing in his last major tournament for England. Like Ali, a survivor of both England’s recent World Cup-winning campaigns, he is now 36 and has been playing exclusively T20 cricket for his country for the past five years.

Although he remains an effective leg spin bowler in his day, and age means that his agility in the field is becoming an impediment.

Quinton de Kock

South African opener Quinton de Kock has begun to scale back his international commitments. He played his last test in December 2021 and finished his ODI career against Australia seven months ago.

Therefore, it would be no surprise if he also left T20I cricket behind as he looks to focus on an increasing array of franchise contracts.

Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir

The fallout from Pakistan’s failure to make the Super Eight stage of the World Cup continues, with calls for players to have their salaries cut and, in some cases, their central contracts terminated.

Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir have decided not to wait for the axe to fall on them but to act unilaterally by announcing their retirement from international cricket.

Amir, in particular, may long regret the part he played in Pakistan's upset defeat to the USA, which sent shock waves through Pakistan cricket. Given responsibility for bowling the Super Over in Dallas, he cracked under pressure and bowled several wides, enabling the Americans to score 18 of him.

Shakib Al-Hasan

Along with Rohit Sharma, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan is the only player to have appeared in every T20 World Cup. This, though, will be his last, and he intends to play more franchise cricket in the future.

He confessed that he did not expect to have played so much international cricket, but he believed that it was time for the next generation to take over.

Download App
view all posts