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World T20: Five players who could retire after the tournament in India

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:52 IST

The biggest names in the cricketing world are set to fight it out for the biggest prize in T20 cricket this month, with the main round of the ICC World T20 tournament only a few days away.

Cricket fans can look forward to an action-filled tournament in India, with all the teams coming into the tournament on the back of intensive preparation.

However, this edition of World T20 could also see a host of international cricketing stars bid goodbye to the sport, or at least to the T20 format.

Here is a look at five such names, who could announce their retirement post the tournament in India.

M S Dhoni

The 34-year-old captain of the Indian national team has enjoyed tremendous success over the years. Under his captaincy, India had lifted the World T20 title in 2007 and finished runners-up in the 2014 edition. He also led the country to cricket's top prize in 2011, the ICC World Cup.

Dhoni would like to end his T20 career in style, and winning the title on home turf could be the perfect way to do it. With the wicketkeeper-batsman only four months away from his 35th birthday, retirement from the sport's shortest format looks like a real possibility for Dhoni.

Shane Watson

The Australian all-rounder, who retired from Test cricket last year, is already said to be contemplating retirement from cricket. Recently, he stated that he would look at taking over a coaching role post-retirement, and would consider the future of his playing career after the tournament in India.

Having already won the ICC World Cup on two occasions with Australia, the World T20 is the only major title Watson is yet to win, and a successful campaign would almost surely mean retirement from the sport.

Shahid Afridi

One of the most celebrated sportspersons of South Asia, Shahid Afridi has been struggling with his form in recent tournaments. His captaincy has also come under renewed criticism following Pakistan's disastrous Asia Cup campaign last month.

The 36-year-old all-rounder has been on the international circuit for two decades, having made his debut in 1996. Afridi will hope to recover his batting form during the tournament, and lead a successful campaign for Pakistan. It remains to be seen whether the big-hitting batsman decides to call it a day after the culmination of the tournament.

Lasith Malinga

Having captained Sri Lanka to the World T20 title in 2014, Lasith Malinga will hope to be in peak form during the event in India. The fast bowler is the highest wicket-taker in the history of ICC World T20 and has a total of 78 wickets in the sport's shortest format.

Having recently stepped down from captaincy, Malinga will hope that he can play a vital role in Sri Lanka's campaign in this edition. The 32-year-old has been in T20 cricket for a decade, and a successful tournament in India might convince him to take his bow from the format.

Mashrafe Mortaza

The captain of the Bangladesh national team recently said that he wouldn't continue playing cricket for a long time, and stated that he wouldn't be around for the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. This brings up a very real possibility of him retiring after the World T20.

With Bangladesh in good form ahead of the tournament, Mortaza will hope to lead a strong campaign from his side. While Mortaza is only 32 years of age, he has been on the international circuit for 15 years, and he might be tempted to call it a day within a month's time.

(Edited by Aishwarya Yerra)

First published: 10 March 2016, 16:50 IST