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Five Legends Who Could Be Playing Their Last IPL Season

There are chances that a few cricketing legends may call it quits after next year’s IPL.

Updated
IPL (IGNORE)
5 min read
Five Legends Who Could Be Playing Their Last IPL Season
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The Indian Premier League started in 2008. Since then this T20 tournament has given us many memories to cherish. It has been a platform for youngsters to learn from legends and improve their game.

It has been the efforts of these legends which have made sure that their team reach the pinnacle in the tournament. These stars have been associated with the competition since its very first season.

But the upcoming season of the IPL could see many of these legends bid adieu to the tournament after leaving us with everlasting memories.

Here are the 5 players who might be calling it a day after this season of the IPL:

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Chris Gayle

File photo of Chris Gayle.
(Photo: BCCI)

Chris Gayle has served well for each and every team he has represented since his very first season of IPL. He has been the most dangerous T20 batsman across the globe and didn’t spoil the reputation in the IPL. His ability to hit sixes at will is something that all bowlers still have nightmares about.

In 125 matches that he has played in IPL so far, he has scored 4,484 runs at an average of 41.13 and a very impressive strike rate of 151.02. The West Indian batsman also holds the record for the highest score in a T20 match by a batsman – 175 against the Pune Warriors – which he scored in the sixth season of the Indian Premier League.

The upcoming IPL season may very well be the his last, considering the fact that he is 40 already and has started missing international tours due to fitness issues.

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Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh, who currently represents Chennai Super Kings, has been a part of IPL since its inception.

The right-arm-off spinner led the Mumbai Indians to its very first T20 title in the Champions League T20 in 2011. He has also been a part of three-time winner Mumbai Indians squad.

He has played 160 matches in IPL so far and has taken 150 wickets at an economy of 7.05 and average of 26.44.

Bhajji donned the yellow jersey last season after CSK bought him in the auctions at the base price of Rs 2 crore.

With other spinning options in the squad, the Turbanator is likely to get very less chances. His lack of international exposure could mean less game time for the 39-year-old. He has already taken up the role of a commentator and enjoys it which could well be a sign of an impending decision.

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Lasith Malinga

Lasith Malinga has been one of the most successful cricketers in the history of the Indian Premier League. He is currently the highest wicket taker in the 20-over tournament with 170 wickets to his name.

Malinga has been with the Mumbai Indians since his very first season in the IPL. Malinga has always been their strike bowler and the driving force behind Mumbai’s success singlehandedly. He also took Jasprit Bumrah under his wings and made him a world class bowler.

The Sri Lankan pacer has taken 170 wickets in 122 matches at an economy of 7.14 and average of 19.80 with 5/13 being his best figures.

The 36-year-old could very well quit to this cash-rich league as he is dealing with fitness issues lately which won’t allow him to play as effectively for his side anymore.

If this turns out be true, he would be the only player to play for one IPL team in his entire career.

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Shane Watson

File photo of Shane Watson.
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

Shane Watson has been one of the most in-demand players in IPL since its inception. He has always been an all rounder who has changed the course of the match all by himself.

The former Australian all-rounder scored 3,575 runs in 134 matches at an average of 31.08.

On the bowling front, Watson has taken 92 wickets in 134 matches at an economy of 7.93 and an average of 29.15.

Fans still remember the Australian batting with a bleeding knee in the IPL 2018 final against Mumbai Indians where he scored 80 off 59 balls, almost taking his team to their fourth IPL title. Such is his commitment towards the game.

Though he has been retained in the CSK squad for the next IPL, there is a very high chance that his fitness won’t allow him to play as freely and effectively as he used to. He has already retired from international cricket and he could soon call quits on his IPL career too.

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MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni is a cricketing genius and has proved the same with his IPL side Chennai Super Kings too. He has already led the team to three IPL titles.

The former India captain started his IPL journey with CSK and has always prioritised the Chennai team over others. He had to play for Rising Pune Super Giants when CSK was banned for two years but he was the first one to be drafted back into the squad after Chennai’s return to IPL in 2018.

Dhoni has scored 4,432 runs in 190 matches at an average of 42.20 with 82 being his highest score.

Though there are some news doing rounds that the 38-year-old may go back into the auction pool for 2021 IPL, one cannot say what goes on in the mind of MS Dhoni. He has often showed how unpredictable he is when it comes to making big decisions.

There is a slight possibility that he may hang his boots after the next year’s IPL and leave us with some amazing memories.

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