AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all formats of cricket yesterday on social media. The right-handed batter played his last game for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2021.
RCB performed brilliantly in the league stage of the tournament, and it seemed like they would finally end their trophy drought. However, the Bengaluru-based franchise lost the Eliminator to Kolkata Knight Riders and crashed out of the tournament. The match against KKR proved to be AB de Villiers’ last game.
As of today, AB de Villiers is 37 years and 276 days old. He made his international debut for South Africa back on December 17, 2004. While most cricketers who debuted before de Villiers have now retired, the following three Indian players who started their careers before December 2004 are still active.
#1 Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh made his international debut for India back in 1998. His first international appearance came in a Test match against Australia in Bengaluru on March 25, 1998.
The 41-year-old veteran has been out of the Indian cricket team since 2016, but he is yet to call it a day in his international career. Earlier this year, Harbhajan turned up for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021, where he returned wicketless in the three games he played.
Singh has maintained his fitness and can still bowl in a tournament like the IPL. It will be interesting to see if he participates in IPL 2022.
#2 Dinesh Karthik
Indian wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik made his international debut a few months before AB de Villiers. The Tamil Nadu player received his maiden international cap ahead of an ODI against England on September 4, 2004.
Karthik has played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs and 32 T20Is in his international career so far. Like Harbhajan Singh, Dinesh played for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021 and finished runners-up.
Dinesh played his last international match for India in the 2019 Cricket World Cup. He was dropped from the team after the semifinal defeat against New Zealand. The 36-year-old wicket-keeper batter is still hopeful of a return to the Indian cricket team and if he performs well in IPL 2022, he could yet make a comeback.
#3 Amit Mishra
The last name to feature on this list is leg-spinner Amit Mishra. The 38-year-old made his Test and T20I debut before AB de Villiers, but he made his ODI debut in April 2003 against South Africa.
In the last 18 years, Mishra has represented India in 22 Tests, 36 ODIs and eight T20I matches. His last appearance in the longer formats came in 2016, while his last T20I appearance for India came in a match against England in 2017.
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Mishra is the leading wicket-taker among Indians in the IPL right now. It will be interesting to see if he can take five more IPL wickets and overtake Lasith Malinga on the all-time list.