5 South Africa players who are playing their last ODI World Cup

These players will most probably hang their boots after the mega event.

Dale Steyn
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Dale Steyn. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Sahil Jain
SAHIL JAIN

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Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

The World Cup is arguably one of the biggest cricketing events that comes across once in four years. It is one tournament that every player wants to be a part of, representing his/her country. Not only play or participate, the World Cup is one trophy that every player wants to win at least once in his/her career. It is undoubtedly one of the most coveted trophies in the history of the game.

The South African players though haven’t had such luck. They arrived in the competition in 1992 and since then, they’ve been searching for their maiden title. They have had the team and looked good on multiple occasions but fell short in the knockouts. The Proteas have never gone past the semi-finals.

Unlike the previous editions, South Africa are not going into the 2019 World Cup as clear favourites. However, there are a few players in the team who will be playing their last World Cup. Jacques Kallis is the only South African who has played five World Cups. Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald played four each. AB de Villiers played three but is now retired. But a lot of the current cricketers will be playing their third but final World Cup of their careers. Who are these cricketers? Let’s find out.

Here are five South Africa players who are playing their last ODI World Cup:

1. Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir
South Africa’s Imran Tahir. (Photo by WIKUS DE WET/AFP/Getty Images)

Imran Tahir is certainly one of the oldest cricketers to be taking part in this year’s World Cup. However, the 40-year-old leggie is set to become the 24th South African cricketer to feature in 100 ODIs during this World Cup. He has already played 98 ODI games for South Africa and has picked up 162 wickets so far.

Tahir was a pretty late bloomer as he made his international debut at the age of 32. In fact, it was in a World Cup game that he made his international and ODI debut in 2011. He took 4/41 against the Windies as he set up the game for South Africa as they started their 2011 campaign with a win.

Since then, he has never looked back. He has gone on to become one of South Africa’s most successful white-ball spinners and one of their most successful bowlers at the World Cup. With 29 wickets at an average of 16.31, the Pakistan born leg-spinner is third on the list of leading wicket-takers for South Africa in World Cup cricket. In fact, he has a chance of overtaking both Shaun Pollock (31 wickets) and Allan Donald (38 wickets) in the upcoming World Cup.

Tahir announced that this World Cup would be his last ODI tournament as he is set to retire from the 50-over format. However, he did reveal that he is set to continue playing T20 cricket for a while.

2. JP Duminy

JP Duminy
JP Duminy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Here is another cricketer who is set to retire from ODI cricket after the upcoming World Cup. JP Duminy has been around for over a decade now. He will be playing his third and final World Cup. Having already retired from Test cricket, the Cape Town-born all-rounder decided to bid adieu to 50-over cricket after the showpiece event in England.

Duminy has always been a pretty underrated cricketer. However, the left-handed batsman looks all set to become the seventh South African cricketer to play 200 ODI matches. He needs six more games to reach the landmark.

With the bat, Duminy held his own in that South African middle-order. He could easily adapt to different circumstances and situations of the game. Moreover, his part-time off-spin was never rated highly but he could chip in with some really useful overs and nip out a couple of key wickets.

3. Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn of South Africa. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Injuries might have kept him out for a large part of the last three years but there’s absolutely no doubt that Dale Steyn will go down as one of the best fast bowlers to have played for South Africa in the history of the game. At his peak, Steyn sent tremors down the opposition batsmen’s spines. He could tear apart any batting line-up in any format.

Steyn has featured in a couple of World Cups (2011 and 2015) and played almost every game. He has picked up 23 wickets in 14 games and is placed fifth on the list of leading wicket-takers for South Africa in World Cups.

However, at 35 and with so many injuries in the last few years, this is surely Dale Steyn’s last World Cup. Since the last World Cup in 2015, he has played just 42 international games with one injury after another keeping him out. However, he is fit and firing at the moment. He has pulled through this home season nicely and is raring to go in this quadrennial event.

The 35-year-old fast bowler has been in good form in the recent past and will partner Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi in the fast bowling department in South Africa’s quest to win their maiden World Cup.

4. Hashim Amla

Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

There was a time in world cricket when Virat Kohli used to set records for reaching run-landmarks in quick time (based on the number of innings) and soon after, Hashim Amla used to break it. Amla holds the record for being the fastest to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs.

However, in the last year or so, the right-handed opening batsman has tapered off a little bit. He has scored just 529 runs in 16 ODI innings since the start of 2018. He has scored just three fifties and one hundred in this period. However, there is no doubt that Amla will be a key batsman for South Africa at the World Cup this year.

The 36-year-old South African opener will be playing his third World Cup. While there has been no official announcement but Amla’s skills are on the wane and at 36, he is definitely playing his last ICC tournament. He was a part of South Africa’s World Cup squad in 2011 and 2015 as well. In 15 games, he has scored 639 runs at an average of 42.60.

5. Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis of South Africa
Faf du Plessis of South Africa. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The South African skipper has been a part of a couple of World Cups before. He has played 14 games across the 2011 and 2015 editions and is one of the few South African players who averages over 50 in the mega event. In 13 innings, he has amassed 539 at an average of 53.90 which includes four fifties and one hundred.

Faf du Plessis hinted that the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia might be his last tournament for South Africa. Hence, the 2019 World Cup could well be Faf’s last 50-over global tournament with the Proteas. He has played 132 ODIs for them in a career that has spanned for close to a decade and has been one of the prolific run-getters and continues to be one.

The Proteas skipper is going into the World Cup in very good form. Since the start of 2018, he has scored 861 runs at an average of 66.23 and a strike-rate of 91.98. Hence, he will be hoping he can have a good World Cup, both as a batsman and captain and bow out of World Cups on a high.

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