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5 Players who could feature in their last Asia Cup

With age being a major factor, there are players who might not feature in the next edition of the Asia Cup

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Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

The next edition of the Asia Cup kicks off later this year with six teams participating all wanting to be crowned Asia Cup champions. The strongly contested competition will be covered through 13 matches with the final expected to be held in September, later this year. A hybrid model has been approved by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), as per which the current title holders and the hosts Sri Lanka will conduct the event along with a few games in Pakistan who are the co-hosts. 

The Asia Cup has more than frequently produced nail-biting games with key marquee players showcasing their fine talent. We all remember MS Dhoni’s sixes in the final against Bangladesh in 2016, Shahid Afridi’s heroic innings against India in 2014, and Ajantha Mendis spinning a web around Indian batters in 2008 final.

The next edition of the Asia Cup begins later this year and may well be the last opportunity for certain players to represent their country as the next edition will take place in September 2025.

We list 5 players below who may well be playing their last Asia Cup:

1. Shakib Al-Hasan (Age 36, Bangladesh)

Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Whenever we think of great cricketers of Bangladesh, Shakib’s name will be there. Whenever we think of modern-day great all-rounders, Shakib’s name will be there. The record books tell the same story as Shakib currently occupies the number one spot for the ODI all-rounders ranking and has been a regular occupier of that number one spot in the past. 

In ODI cricket, Shakib has over 7000 runs and over 300 wickets. These are stats which not many can say they have or can ever match. He has played 232 games and has had the honour to captain Bangladesh. Some of Shakib’s records for Bangladesh in ODIs include 1st in most wickets taken, 1st in highest average as a batsman, 2nd most 100s made, 2nd most 50s made, and 3rd most runs scored.

The past few years have seen Shakib be penalised or suspended for his actions.  Some of these include his unhappiness against umpire decisions in the 2018 Nidahas trophy and his aggressive demonstrations in a domestic game where he again got upset with an umpire decision. He breached ICC’s anti-corruption code when he didn’t report when bookies had approached him.

There are players younger than Shakib who have been putting in stellar performances such as Taijul Islam, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Nasum Ahmed. They all are a mix of left and right arm top quality spinners who can contribute runs with the bat. The more game time they get, the more confident they will be in their abilities. 

There will be a time very soon when Bangladesh will look beyond Shakib and between now and the 2025 Asia Cup, there are two different format world cups. Shakib will take part in the 2023 World Cup but participation beyond 2024 is doubtful. Bangladesh would look to groom one of their younger players to captain them full-time and take over from Shakib’s all-rounder role. Whenever the time comes to retire, he can certainly look back on a successful playing career and can cherish the fact in 2020, he was named in the ODI team of the decade.

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