While each new Indian T20 League season introduces exciting new talent showcasing their game on the grandest T20 league of them all, it also brings down the curtain on old favourites who finally decide to call it time on their career, or worse, the teams make the decision for them.
Here, we look at five players for whom the 2020 edition might be their last Indian T20 League season.
There's not much left to be said about the flamboyant personality that is Chris Gayle. One of the best examples of walking the talk, the 'Universe Boss' was once one of the most entertaining openers in the Indian T20 League, and as he showed in his comeback match in 2020, can still get it done. However, he is no longer at his prime (he turned 41 in September) and the interest in his services has waned, as evident during the auctions when just one team was going after him.
It's been four years since Shane Watson stopped playing for Australia but his T20 career has been running on all cylinders. Having competed in all but one season of the Indian T20 League, he has been the most valuable players twice. However, his versatility took a hit when he switched to batting only, and a poor 2019 led many into predicting that 2020 would be his swan song. But Chennai have been known to stick it out with their players through thick and thin, so the call remains with Watson, we suppose.
The 'Steyn Gun' Dale Steyn is one of the most legendary pacers in the annals of cricket history and always give it both barrels every time he runs up to bowl. However, that has also seen him be prone to injury in recent years, including during the 2019 Indian T20 League season. With the postponed T20 World Cup 2021 looming next year, the South African might just decide to give the 2021 Indian T20 League season a miss in order to keep himself in ship-shape for the international competition.
Another South African bowler, Imran Tahir is cresting the fag end of his illustrious career. Despite his 42 years of age, the leg-spinner still sprights around without a care in the world every time he bags a wicket. He is also quite active in the international cricket scene. However, with age, form tends to slip away, and for the man we've yet to see play a game during the ongoing season, we might just have a longer wait still if he or the team decides it's time to call it a career at the end of this year.
2011 World Cup and three-time Indian T20 League-winning captain MS Dhoni has been almost as synonymous with the men in yellow as he is with the men in blue. However, with him calling time on his national duties this year, many feel the 2020 Indian T20 League season might be his last, with some in the know suggesting he could take over a management role at Chennai and guide the team's future ahead. Certainly, with the 2020 season shaping to be one to forget for the three-time champions, along with the disgusting threats toward Dhoni's young family by unhappy 'fans' of the squad, one would understand, whatever his decision.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Indian T20 League