With the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, one more player who was part of the 90s era has walked away into the sunset. Although Tendulkar made his debut in late 1989, it were the 90s that defined the man as a player, and created the legend out of him. Tendulkar’s retirement leaves world cricket with even fewer players who made their debut back in the 1990s and are still active in international cricket. We dug hard and compiled the small list
Shivnarine Chanderpaul: Of the remaining lot, the 39-year-old is now the seniormost player in international cricket. Chanderpaul made his debut back in March 1994 against England at Georgetown. He made an impressive 62 in his debut match as West Indies won by an innings and 44 runs. His most recent appearance was in Tendulkar’s farewell Test at Mumbai, which incidentally was his own 150th Test career is still in progress, he last played a one-day match in March 2011 while his last T20 game was in May 2010. Clearly, he is now being looked upon as a Test specialist.
Jacques Kallis: One of the greatest all-rounders to have graced the game, the 38-year-old veteran made his international debut in the Test against England at Durban in December 1995. Kallis made 1 with the bat and did not bowl in the game which was drawn owing to nearly three days being lost due to rain. He last played an ODI in February 2012, but is set to make a comeback in the home series against Pakistan.
Shahid Afridi: The mercurial Pakistani all-rounder made his one-day debut in October 1996 against Kenya at Nairobi as a 16-year-old (that’s what his official age was back then although question marks have been raised about the same). Although Afridi did not get to bat in the game, he bowled his 10 overs for an economical 32 runs without picking up a wicket. Since, he has been in and out of the side owing to his inconsistency. Afridi did feature in the recently concluded ODI and T20 series against South Africa, both of which Pakistan lost. However, he five- day match. hasn’t featured in a Test since July 2010, which was only his 27th
Daniel Vettori: Now 34, the left-arm spinner made his international debut in the Wellington Test against England in February 1997 at the age of 18. He took two wickets in England’s only innings and since has been one of the lynchpins of New Zealand’s attack. Form and fitness issues have kept him out of the side recently, but he did play for the Kiwis in the Champions Trophy in June this year.
Mahela Jayawardene: The elegant former Sri Lankan skipper entered international cricket with a classy 66 on Test debut against India at Colombo in August 1997. The innings is pretty much forgotten since it was the very Test in which Sanath Jayasuriya made 340 and Roshan Mahanama 225 while Sri Lanka ran up record total of 952 for 6. However, since that day, Jayawardene has been an indispensable part of Lankan cricket. The 36-year-old continues to feature in all formats of the sport for his country. He was recently part of the drawn three-match ODI contest against New Zealand at home.
Note: Players who made their made their debuts in the late 90s, like Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik (October 1999) and Chris Gayle (September 1999) do not feature in here.
--By A Cricket Analyst