Variety

Some momentous farewells ahead

Gokul Krishnamurthy Mumbai | Updated on March 22, 2011

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Ravichandran Ashwin did not belie expectations on his World Cup debut at Chennai on Sunday. Hopefully, India will play three more matches in this edition of the Cup for him to underscore his mettle. If they don't, he has future World Cups to look forward to. For many others, this is their last chance to hold the coveted trophy.

The teams that are no longer in the reckoning are Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe. As exciting as some of them were, the real deal begins March 23 - more so because this is the knock out zone.

Playing out alongside the fortunes of teams being decided by one good or bad day in office will be some historic cricketing moments. The knock out games will possibly be the last World Cup outings for some of the greatest players.

Ricky Ponting, 36 years old and part of three World Cup winning squads already, is playing for a fourth title. Muthiah Muralitharan will retire after the tournament, leaving a void that only another legend can fill. His team mate Mahela Jayawardene, 33, has stated that this could be his last too.

Daniel Vettori's left arm spin will be enjoyed by fans for the last time during this World Cup. Pacer Brett Lee is 34, and the Rawalpindi Express - Shoaib Akhthar - has announced his retirement.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 36, will hope to make what is possibly his last World Cup memorable for the West Indies. His team mate, the fearsome Chris Gayle, is only 31, and we're all hoping that he'll be around for the next edition.

All rounder Jacques Kallis will be hoping to rip apart the ‘chokers' tag on South Africa in his consistent style with a victory at Wankhede on April 2.

For Sachin Tendulkar (described as ‘Super God' by a fan in Chennai on Sunday), walking after nicking as he did is in keeping with his stature.

‘Super God' will also possibly be walking off the field at a World Cup game for the last time in 2011. God willing, it will be with the trophy.

Published on March 22, 2011

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