Asia Cup 2018: The Asia Cup 2018 will begin in a few days which is considered to be the biggest cricketing extravaganza in Asia. Hong Kong beat the United Arab Emirates to become the last team to make the cut for the Asia Cup. Teams like India and Pakistan, along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka would be frontrunners to the title. But of course, cricket being cricket, only a fool can predict the outcome.
In the past, there are legendary players who have played in the tournament and this time too there will be big names taking part in the event starting from 15th of September in the UAE.
So who are the players who may be featured in the Cup for the last time in all probability?
The old-warhorse of Pakistan Shoaib Malik is 36 and it does not look like he will feature in the Asia Cup again. Malik has been an asset in green clothing for his country and what makes him that is his ability to turn his arm over as and when needed. Malik has scored 7015 runs in ODI cricket, he is also the eighth highest run-scorer for Pakistan in ODI cricket. Moreover, he has also been a decent bowler for Pakistan, with more than 150 ODI wickets to his name. He has already announced his retirement and hence will not
Known to be the yorker-king, he at his peak bowled yorkers at will and terrorised batsman like no one else. He is 35 and this is undoubtedly going to be his farewell tournament. The Galle-born bowler has scalped 301 wickets in ODIs. He is the fourth highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in ODIs. Surely do not see him participate in the Asia Cup in 2020.
Mortaza, fondly known as the Narail Express has been a part of the Bangladeshi unit for a long time. He has seen the side emerge from being minnows to being the potent team they are today. He is a fast bowler and is 34, cannot see him last till 2020. The Bangladeshi captain has taken 245 wickets in ODIs. Scalping five more wickets, Mashrafe will become the first Bangladeshi bowler to take 250 wickets in ODIs.
Played under the shadow of MS Dhoni, Karthik has been around for a long time. He was a part of India set up even during Sourav Ganguly’s era, but now that he is ageing, it is highly improbable that he would feature in another Asia Cup. There is a young crop of wicketkeepers, like Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan who would be next in queue once MS Dhoni calls it a day.
The former captain of the Indian cricket team, MS Dhoni is 37 and in the twilight of his career. Speculations are rife that the 2019 ICC World Cup would be his last. However, with age not on his side (well, fitness has never been his problem), MS Dhoni might not be a part of the next edition of Asia Cup.