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Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Cricket is a sport that is loved by fans all across the world and players look to make their presence memorable for the fans and spectators. Over the past four to five decades, there are plenty of players who have graced the game and have earned the respect of the fans. Players earned respect by the way they played and dominated whenever they entered the field of play.

But there are some players which have played the sport longer than almost anyone because they were simply the best in the business. They were able to play the game at the highest level for the longest time possible and were always there for their teams whenever required. Let’s take a look at the players with the longest career in International cricket.

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985:

10. Rangana Herath (19y 48d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Rangana Herath. (Source -Twitter/X)

The Sri Lankan great was one of the best spinners that the country had produced and was one of the first players on the team sheet for the Asian giants. The left-arm off-spinner always had the wicket-taking ability and managed to get the breakthroughs for his team whenever needed. He made his debut in September 1999 and played his last game in 2018 against England. The spinner was prominently dominant in Tests but had great spells for his side in the white-ball games as well.

9. Sean Williams* (19y 77d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Sean Williams. (Source -Twitter/X)

One of the most underrated players of our beloved game, Sean Williams is currently playing in his 20th year at the highest level. The left-handed batter is a proficient stroke player and loves to play the sweep whenever the spinners are brought into the attack. He is currently 9th in the list for Most ODI matches for Zimbabwe and ninth in this list as well. But the batter has not yet announced anything related to his retirement so he might jump up a few places by the time he hangs up his boots.

8. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (21y 47d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Shivnarine Chanderpaul. (Source -Twitter/X)

The name of Shivnarine Chanderpaul rose in the world of cricket because of his unique stance while batting. Although he had an unorthodox stance that did not stop him from dominating the opposition with the bat and always looked to pile the pressure on the opposition. He is one of only two West Indies players to feature in this list and have an international career spanning more than twenty years. The former batter’s son is currently one of the upcoming players for the West Indies as well and has shown that batting runs in their family’s blood.

7. James Anderson* (21y 85d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

James Anderson. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Probably the only pacer to feature in this illustrious list is the great man himself, James Anderson. The England pacer has now announced that he will be retiring from International cricket after the first Test against the West Indies. He has had a remarkable career so far and earlier this year, he became the first-ever pacer to reach the mark of 700 Test wickets. The speedster has performed in almost every country he has toured and was also a menace in the swinging conditions in England. His accurate line and lengths were always a trouble for the batters and he used it to his advantage to scalp their wicket.

6. Sanath Jayasuriya (21y 184d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Sanath Jayasuriya’s 130 vs India- 2008. (Photo Source: Twitter)

One of the most elegant batters of the game, Sanath Jayasuriya always looked to pile on the runs against the opposition. Whenever he entered the field, he looked to dominate the opposition and take the match away from them with every opportunity he got. ODIs were one of his most favourite formats and played 441 games for the nation in the format. He has played the second-most number of matches for Sri Lanka in the format and was able to make 13430 runs as well.

5. Shahid Afridi (21y 241d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Shahid Afridi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Arguably one of the best all-rounders to have been produced by Pakistan was Shahid Afridi. The all-rounder had the power-hitting ability to change the game from any position possible. He also contributed well with the ball as he was able to rack up wickets from time to time. The batting all-rounder took back his retirement twice and was one of the great captains of the Pakistan team in white-ball cricket.

4. Shoaib Malik (22y 37d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Shoaib malik. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

The only other player from Pakistan on this list is Shoaib Malik and if given the chance right now he would still be willing to go out there and dominate teams with the bat. He was one of their most reliable batters during their golden era and racked up a lot of runs in his long white-ball career. He made his debut for Pakistan in ODIs in 1999 and made his last appearance for his side in T20Is in 2021. The batter currently plays in franchise tournaments all across the world and still is one of the batters for his teams in the competitions.

3.  Chris Gayle (22y 56d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Chris-Gayle. (Photo Source: Twitter)

This list was always going to be incomplete without the ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle featuring in it. The tall left-handed opener was one of the best openers in world cricket for almost two decades. He changed the approach of his game and started attacking right from the first delivery. This aggressive intent used to put the teams under all sorts of pressure and the bowlers had no answers for the power-hitting abilities of the opener. The West Indies International was a menace for the bowlers in almost all formats and made his final appearance in International cricket in 2021.

2. Collins Obuya (22y 221d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Collins Obuya. (Source -Twitter/X)

One of the players that had a long-spanning career but did not get much recognition for his work is Collins Obuya. His career began during the 2003 ODI World Cup where he made a name for himself through his variations. The leg-spinning all-rounder had great success for the Kenya side every time he entered the field and was one of their most consistent players of all time. The all-rounder last appeared for his nation earlier this year during the African games.

1. Sachin Tendulkar (24y 1d)

Ranking the longest careers in international cricket since 1985

Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The first one was always going to be obvious and the person with the longest International career ever has been none other than the ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar. He made his International debut at the tender age of 16 and by the time his career ended, he became one of the greatest players of all time. The batter was a trouble for the best bowling line-ups and always came up clutch for Team India whenever the side was in trouble. He is still regarded as one of the best batters of all time and his records surely back that statement up.

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