As India’s most glamorous extravaganza has started doing the rounds already and will be up and running from the 19th of September with a clash between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, this may be the last of a few cricketers that we may witness.
No matter how hard it may be for us to say that it will be the end of an era, we will still have to accept that the service that they have provided to cricket is absolutely priceless and age has caught up with them. This may very well be the season after which they may retire from the game or the tournament.
In this story, we will take a look at five cricketers who will most likely be bidding adieu to the sport or it can even be the franchise league after the tournament meets its conclusion.
#1 MS Dhoni
It may not sound like a song to many cricket fans but Dhoni is already in his twilight and with him being out of international cricket, this is most likely his last season for Chennai Super Kings in IPL. He is undoubtedly one of the sport’s biggest monikers and has scaled incredulous heights with a fiery brand of batting, razor-sharp wicket-keeping and a sublime brand of leadership.
He has played the highest number of IPL matches with 211 appearances under his belt and has managed to score 4669 runs at an overwhelming average of 40.25 and a staggering strike rate of 136 plus. He has led Chennai Super Kings to being one of the most consistent forces of the tournament.
#2 Chris Gayle
The Universe Boss has been a reckoning force in cricket ever since his inception in the sport. He has hammered the bowlers left and right and continues being an untenable sensation in the shortest format of the game. Gayle chose to confine himself to the shortest format of the sport once he found that he wasn’t really called for in the other two formats. However, the explosion arrived from him in stunning fashion as he started crossing bowlers off with consummate ease.
He has spawned an enviable legacy in the Indian extravaganza, spanning his tenure across Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings. Despite being 41 years old, he has already managed to garner 178 runs from 7 games in the ongoing edition of the fray while his total IPL tally reads an overwhelming 4950 runs at a titanic strike rate of 149.45. With all said and done, Gayle may be out of contention after this tournament ends as the World T20 may be his last essay.
#3 Imran Tahir
Despite being one of the finest spinners in recent times, Tahir has failed to make a lasting impression in the IPL. He had a couple of fine seasons in 2017 and 2019 where he managed to claim 44 wickets combined. 2019 proved to be his breakthrough year when he wreaked havoc with 26 scalps. Sadly, for him, the following season didn’t really see much of him.
He has so far played 59 matches in IPL that saw him garner 82 wickets at an astonishing economy rate of 7.76 that is deemed as miraculous in the shortest format of the sport. At 42 years of age, it is highly unlikely that Tahir will any longer be a part of franchise cricket anymore.
#4 Harbhajan Singh
One of the most successful Indian bowlers of the tournament, Harbhajan Singh claimed 150 scalps throughout his glittering IPL antiquity. He has also been India’s finest off-spinner and made a menacing pair with Anil Kumble in the longest format of the sport.
Barring 2020, he was always a towering presence in the ranks of IPL and has always been deemed as a significant threat, considering his knack for scalping wickets at an accelerated rate. More importantly, he has chronicled an impressive economy rate of 7.07. At 41 years of age, it doesn’t feel like that he has one last song left in him.
#5 Piyush Chawla
Though Piyush Chawla hasn’t played a single game in IPL 2021, his presence is extremely crucial to any side of the tournament. Despite being in his twilight already, Chawla has left an impressive legacy behind him in India’s most glamorous domestic tournament.
From 164 matches he has managed 156 wickets at a brilliant economy rate of 7.87. He was belted out for a few expensive overs in the preceding edition of the tournament but still managed to leave a significant impact on the game. However, with every passing day and with declining popularity, Chawla may be very well be shown the exit from the tournament.