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Thread: When Age Is Just A Number

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    Default When Age Is Just A Number






    As Sachin Tendulkar turns 40, he is playing his 24th year of international cricket for India, but the master batsman has made no indication of quitting the game any time soon, and so we can expect him to continue playing into his 40s. He won’t be the first cricketer to do so. Here’s a list of some cricketing greats who proved that age is just a number.








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    Gordon Greenidge, one of the heavyweights of the golden era of West Indian cricket, was exactly 40 on his final day in Test cricket, on May 1, 1991. He played the last of his 128 ODIs later that month, in England.








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    Don Bradman played the last of his 52 Tests aged a few days short of 40 in August 1948. His cricketing career, along with many others, was severely curtailed with the start of the World War II that lasted till 1945. Bradman continued playing domestic cricket till 1949.








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    Vijay Merchant, one of India’s finest, played the last of his 10 Tests aged 40. Merchant’s First Class average of 71.64 is next only to Don Bradman’s 95.14. A shoulder injury cut short his playing days for India in November 1951.








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    Vijay Merchant, one of India’s finest, played the last of his 10 Tests aged 40. Merchant’s First Class average of 71.64 is next only to Don Bradman’s 95.14. A shoulder injury cut short his playing days for India in November 1951.








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    Clive Lloyd’s tremendous run as West Indies captain ended on March 6, 1985, with his team’s defeat in the semifinal of the B&H World Championship of Cricket, to Pakistan. Lloyd was 40 at the time.








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    Dave Houghton (far left, in red), Zimbabwe’s finest batsman alongside Andy Flower, also played hockey for his country. The sturdily built middle-order batsman and wicketkeeper played the last of his 22 Tests and 63 ODIs in October 1997, aged 40.






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    England captain Alec Stewart played the last of his 133 Tests aged 40, in September 2003. He was the oldest active Test cricketer then.






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    Sydney Barnes, by some measures the greatest bowler to have played cricket, had a First Class career spanning 36 years. He was 40 when he played his last Test series for England against South Africa in 1914. Barnes took 49 wickets in four Tests in that series, a record that stands to the day. He didn’t play the final Test of that series due to a pay dispute, and never played Tests again. He continued to play domestic and club cricket for 16 more years.







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    Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu, India’s first Test captain, played the last of his seven Tests (all against England) at the Oval aged 40 in August 1936.








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    England great Geoff Boycott played his last Test in 1981 aged 41. His career ended in controversy. Playing his final series, in India in 1981, he went to play golf in the middle of the Kolkata Test. He was packed off to England. In the same series, he had claimed Test record for most runs. Some said it was his sole incentive for coming on the tour.






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    Lala Amarnath could have played many more than 24 Tests if not for the World War II interruption. He was 41 by the time he played his final series, against Pakistan at home in 1952. India took won the series 2-1. He played domestic cricket till 1964.








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    West Indies tall off-spinner Lance Gibbs was 41 when he played the last of his 79 Tests, finishing with the then Test record of 309 wickets.








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    English captain Graham Gooch began his Test career with a pair against Australia in 1973. He would become one of England’s greatest, with 8900 runs in 118 Tests, the last of which he played in a 1-3 Ashes defeat in Australia in 1994-95. He continued playing domestic cricket till 1997.








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    Vinoo Mankad, India’s finest all-rounder before Kapil Dev, played the last of his 44 Tests aged 41 in 1959.






    Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gayee Ho
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