T20 turns good bet for the retired stars

Saba Nayakan
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Adam Gilchrist in action against Chennai Super Kings last year.
Adam Gilchrist in action against Chennai Super Kings last year.

Umpire Simon Taufel (42) of Australia too has shown his tribe that there is indeed a good life after retirement.

The Twenty20 format has turned into a heaven-sent opportunity for past masters and the not-so-young international cricketers.

With the advent of this slam-dunk variety and the money it brings in, some of these players have turned into hard-core journeymen, travelling from country to country, plying their trade. For the sixth edition of the IPL, the franchisees have roped in some who are either retired or unlikely to be called for National duty .

Rajasthan Royals can be dubbed as the Dads’ Army for the number of players in their late 30s or early 40s still enthusiastically competing with the younger lot.

At 40, the erstwhile Wall of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid, is at the helm of Royals as its captain and mentor guiding the younger lot to perform. Brad Hodge (38) is another Aussie like Brad Hogg (42) making the most out of T20 cricket. Hodge is a regular player in countries such as Bangladesh, England, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Shaun Tait (30), forced to limit exposure to the game by nagging injuries, has found T20 an easy format to play for a comfortable living. He has given up hopes of representing Australia in the longer version. Giving him company is Englishman Owais Shah (34) at the Royals.

Living out of a suitcase

Coming next on the list is Kings XI Punjab where Aussie Adam Gilchrist is the most prominent. At 41, he has stuck to IPL since his retirement in 2008. His two other colleagues, Pakistani Azar Mahmood (38) and Englishman Dimitry Mascarenhas (35), are true journeymen, living out of suitcases and playing T20 cricket in New Zealand, Bangladesh, India.

Recently retired Aussie captain Ricky Ponting (38) is making full use of his experience at Mumbai Indians. His once bowling spear-head Brett Lee (36) is with Kolkata Knight Riders as a player-cum-mentor.

Michael Hussey (37) is one of the batting mainstays with Chennai Super Kings. His teammate, Dirk Nannes, has not yet called it a day like his compatriot but nevertheless has established himself as a useful T20 cricketer playing in Bangladesh and India, apart from turning out for his team Down Under.

Test cricket’s highest wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan is one of the success stories of T20 cricket. Full of guile and craft, Murali (40) is one of the vital cogs of Royal Challengers Bangalore. IPL is not just about cricketers making merry. Umpire Simon Taufel (42) of Australia too has shown his tribe that there is indeed a good life after retirement.

(This article was published on April 7, 2013)
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