In sports, there is a common phrase - Form is temporary but class is permanent. Cricket has given several quality players throughout the years across the globe. While many have called it quits at the peak of their careers, a few have faced poor form in the latter stages of their career. Due to which, they were dropped from the squad and it resulted in their retirement.
While talented youngsters are slowly replacing the veteran players in the playing eleven, it can't be denied that experience has its own place. Here are 5 players who could come out from retirement and take part in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in India later this year.
1. AB de Villiers
There is hardly anyone who doesn't like the batting style of AB de Villiers. He left the entire world in shock when he announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on 23 May 2018.
De Villiers uploaded a video on Twitter, in which he explained his decision. "I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired." However, he continued to play T20 leagues all over the world and it wouldn't be wrong to say that there is a lot of cricket left in him.
Currently, he is playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India and his onslaughts in the middle overs have been helping the team to post huge totals as well as chase them. Moreover, recently, he has expressed his desire to return to international cricket too and due to that, he will speak to Proteas head coach Mark Boucher.
If things go well, we might see him in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup later this year and, who isn't aware of his calibre to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? Given the experience he has, his return will provide a much-needed boost to the South Africa squad.
2. Mohammad Amir
Pakistan have produced many quality fast bowlers and Mohammad Amir is one of them. Despite having seen a rise in his international career, he faced a five-year ban for his involvement in the Lord's spot-fixing scandal. However, after featuring in 36 Tests and claiming 119 wickets at an average of 30.47, he announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2019 to concentrate on limited-overs cricket.
Despite having a stunning World Cup in 2019, he was dropped from the limited-overs squad. He believed that the current management was not happy with his Test retirement and hence he decided to drop him from the other formats as well. However, that eventually saw his retirement from all forms of international cricket in 2020.
However, recently he shared on social media that he would love to return to the national team if the current team management will change. He has featured in 50 T20Is for Pakistan, claiming 59 wickets with best figures of 4/13. If he manages to return in green for the upcoming marquee event, Pakistan will have an extra bowling option in their kitty, which might prove beneficial for them.
3. Suresh Raina
India have produced many left-handed players throughout the years where Suresh Raina belongs to the top of the list. An aggressive middle-order batsman, an occasional off-spin bowler and considered as one of the best fielders in world cricket, Raina left everyone in shock when he announced his retirement from international cricket in 2020.
The first Indian batsman to hit a century in all three formats of international cricket, Suresh Raina has represented India in the 78 T20I games, having 1604 runs at 134.79. However, he has been playing for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and has maintained his fine form this season too.
On the other hand, India have struggled in batting in middle-overs as no one has been able to fit in that role for a long time. While Indian have recently handed over the national caps to new players, an experienced Raina could be a great bet for India in the upcoming event, given his swashbuckling form in mind.
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4. Ajantha Mendis
Sri Lanka player Ajantha Mendis, who announced his arrival in international cricket as a mystery spinner, hung up his boots in 2019. Widely regarded as one of the best limited over bowlers in world cricket, he came into the news when he picked up six wickets against a strong Indian top-order who couldn't read his carrom balls.
Mendis has played for Sri Lanka in 39 T20Is, picking up 66 wickets with the best figures of 6/8. Moreover, he has two six-wicket hauls in this format against Australia and Zimbabwe. He became the first bowler to take six wickets in a Twenty20 international match in 2011 which came against Australia whereas the next one came in 2012 during a match against Zimbabwe in the ICC World Twenty20.
He also holds the record of taking two six-wicket hauls in T20Is. However, in recent years he has been captaining Police Sports Club in the domestic Tier B tournament, where he has emerged as a batting all-rounder, including four 50-plus scores in his last eight first-class innings.
If he will decide to return to international cricket, what could be better for Sri Lanka to have an experienced bowling all-rounder in the playing eleven for the all-important T20 World Cup?
5. Marlon Samuels
Marlon Samuels has been one of the familiar faces for the Men in Maroon over the years. Having played a key role for the West Indies team that won the 2012 and 2016 ICC World Twenty20, he became the man of the match in the final on both the occasions and still holds the record of becoming the first player to achieve the milestone as well.
In 2012, he smashed a quickfire 78 from 56 against Sri Lanka and in 2016 he hit a blistering 85 not out off 66 balls against England as well. In 67 T20Is, he has scored 1611 runs and claimed 22 wickets with the best of 3/23. However, he announced his retirement from all forms of the game last year in November.
Samuels has also played in several T20 franchises across the globe over two decades where he has represented Pune Warriors, Delhi Daredevils, Melbourne Renegades and Peshawar Zalmi. In 15 IPL matches, he has scored 161 runs and claimed nine wickets as well.
Although there is no news of his return to international cricket, it would be exciting to see him once again if he takes a call on it.