In Cricket, just like other sports, longevity is one of the parameters which is used to judge the greatness of a cricketer. And, rightly so.
One of the greatest examples of longevity is none other than Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. The Indian legend made his debut at an age of 16 and for the next 24 years, he battled mounting expectations, a truckload of injuries, and numerous other challenges that bowlers threw at him, but he still managed to come out with flying colors.
Longevity is an expression of a player’ resilience, grit, and character. It just shows you that no matter how many obstacles you may face in your journey if you have the courage and mental fortitude to battle it out, you will thrive.
Here’s a look at five cricketers with the longest career-span in ODI cricket-
Shoaib Malik- 19 years, 245 days- (1999-2019)
Shoaib Malik’s ODI career spanned over 19 years and given the longevity, you may be tempted to think that the all-rounder would have represented Pakistan in 3-4 World Cups easily.
But Malik’s career is a perfect example of the volatile nature of Pakistan cricket- One minute down, next minute up. Having made his debut against the West Indies way back in 1999, Shoaib Malik could feature in just two 50-over World Cups- the shambolic 2007 event where he was one of the lone shining lights and the 2019 edition where he was dropped midway through the tournament.
Malik’s last ODI game came against arch-rivals in the 2019 World Cup, and even though it did not end in the manner he would have liked, his best days in 50-over cricket came against the Men in Blue, against whom he averaged 50.
Overall, Malik featured in 287 ODIs, scoring 7534 runs at an average of 34.56, including 44 half-centuries and 9 hundreds. Besides that, he also claimed 158 wickets at an average of 39.9.