Players' age will matter in ICC World Cup 2019-- and Team India is in the wrong half

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - England Nets - Kia Oval, London, Britain - May 29, 2019 England's Liam Dawson and Adil Rashid play football before nets Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
  • Sri Lanka is the oldest team in the tournament and Afghanistan is the youngest based on the teams' average age.
  • Chris Gayle, the dazzler from West Indies, will play his fifth and final World Cup, one short of legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Javed Miandad.
  • The five youngest players playing the tournament this year are from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The choice between experience and youth will be one of the key decisions when selecting the teams for the 2019 World Cup. The format of this tournament will have each team playing every other team in the tournament, like it was in 1992.

In the tournament starting tomorrow (May 30), this format would amount to 9 one-day international (ODI) matches for every team before the semi-final stage. Compare this to the 2015 world cup where only the finalists played 9 full matches after surviving two knockout rounds.

A team of veterans may be able to handle pressure situations better, but could be found wanting due to the high number of league matches. While a youthful team may show sparks of brilliance and stamina but may not be able to finish the game.

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There is also the possibility that age may not be a determinant in how a team progresses - considering the increased emphasis on fitness. These probabilities and how they pan out is what makes the World Cup so exciting.

An analysis of the average age of the World Cup squads reveals that debutantes Afghanistan have the youngest squad. Sri Lanka, with an average age of 30.40, has the oldest team in the competition. The Indian squad is among the older ones in the competition.

Table: average age of World Cup squads [as on May 30, 2019]

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No.CountryAverage Age
1Afghanistan27.68
2Bangladesh27.77
3Pakistan27.90
4West Indies28.47
5England 29.28
6New Zealand29.56
7India30.03
8Australia30.31
9South Africa 30.37
10Sri Lanka30.40

The Veteran

The West Indian Chris Gayle is the only player in the current squads to have played in the 2003 World Cup. Since this is Gayle’s fifth and final World Cup (he has announced that he will retire after its conclusion), he will not be able to catch up with Sachin Tendulkar and Javed Miandad, who have played 6 World Cups.

West Indies' Chris Gayle celebrates after he scored half a century against England during the fifth One Day International cricket match at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Gros Islet, St. Lucia. AP/PTI(

Oldest player

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Imran Tahir is the oldest player in the World Cup. Tahir was 32 when he made his one-day international debut against West Indies in the group-phase of the 2011 World Cup; he had a good outing, taking 4 wickets for 41 runs. Since then, the Pakistan-born spinner has established himself in South Africa’s limited over squads.

South Africa's bowler Imran Tahir unsuccessful appeals for LBW during the second One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Centurion Park in Johannesburg, South Africa.AP/PTI(


Table: 5 oldest players in the 2019 World Cup (updated as on May 30, 2019)

No.NameCountryAge
1Imran TahirSouth Africa40 years, 64 days
2Chris GayleWest Indies 39 years,251 days
3Mohammad HafeezPakistan38 years, 225 days
4Mahendra Singh DhoniIndia37 years, 327 days
5Shoiab MalikPakistan37 years,118 days

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Youngest player

Mujeeb Ur Rahman, the Afghan mystery spinner, is the youngest participant in 2019 World Cup. Mujeeb has the distinction of being the first male international cricketer born in the 21st century. Mujeeb was only 16 when he made his ODI debut against Ireland on December 5, 2017 - he was awarded the Man of the Match for his spell of 4 for 24 which took Afghanistan to a 138-run victory.

Table: 5 youngest players in the 2019 World Cup (updated as on May 30, 2019)

No.NameCountryAge
1Mujeeb Ur RahmanAfghanistan18 years, 62 days
2Shaheen AfridiPakistan 19 years, 53 days
3Mohammad HasnainPakistan 19 years, 54 days
4Shadab KhanPakistan 20 years, 237 days
5Rashid Khan Afghanistan20 years, 251 days

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