The IPL 2023 auction is set to be held on December 23, 2022: here are the five oldest players among the shortlisted set of 405 cricketers who will feature in the auction. Time and again, players past and present have showed us that advancing age doesn’t always dim the magic of athletes. Even in T20 cricket, a format incorrectly dubbed as the “young man’s game”, cricketers well into their forties have defied age to excel.
The 2023 auction list has exactly one cricketer currently in their forties, although there are still a few players among the retained list who are the same age or older. Here are five of the oldest players shortlisted for the IPL 2023 auction list:
#6 Christiaan Jonker (South Africa)
Age on auction day: 36 years 90 days
Jonker, a middle-order batter who has been playing domestic cricket for seventeen years, played two ODIs and as many T20Is for South Africa in 2018. He is yet to play in the IPL, although he has featured extensively in African domestic T20 cricket, including the Ram Slam T20, Mzansi Super League and the Africa T20 Cup. He also briefly had a stint for Rajshahi Royals in the Bangladesh Premier League in 2018.
#5 Sheldon Jackson (India)
Age on auction day: 36 years 87 days
A proven name in the domestic circuit, Jackson’s toil hasn’t earned him an India cap yet. An established long-format batter, he averages over 50 after 80 first-class games. Until the start of the 2022 season, he had played just four IPL matches, all in 2017. As a wicketkeeper-batter, he played five matches for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2022, but was part of the released list, joining back the auction pool.
#4 Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe)
Age on auction day: 36 years 243 days
Raza’s 37th year has been his most productive in international cricket. Since his last birthday, he has scored 735 runs at a strike rate of 151 and taken 25 wickets while going at 6.13 an over in 24 Twenty20 Internationals. His seven Player of the Match awards (including three at the T20 World Cup) have all come in this period, as has his only Player of the Series award. For perspective, in his 41 T20Is before that, the numbers read 524 runs at 107 and 13 wickets at an economy of 8.27. Age may not be in his favour, but form certainly is.
#3 David Wiese (Namibia)
Age on auction day: 37 years 219 days
Namibia’s grand old superstar, Wiese has found an incredible second gear in his career, returning to international cricket after a long hiatus, a Kolpak deal ending his South Africa career. At the 2021 T20 World Cup, his all-round heroics helped the side qualify for the group stage: he ended the tournament with the sixth-most runs while also being the side’s highest wicket-taker. BPL, CPL, PSL, the Hundred: you name it and he’s played it all. Unsold earlier this year, Wiese, back in the auction, will be looking for his first IPL game since 2016.
#2 Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)
Age on auction day: 37 years 356 days
The indefatigable all-rounder has somehow not been a regular fixture in the IPL, despite his vast set of skills and experience. He’s been part of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, and has 355 T20 matches to his name, Nabi has played just four IPL games in the last two years and none in IPL 2022. A new edition could bring in a change of fortunes for Nabi, who recently resigned from Afghanistan T20 captaincy.
#1 Amit Mishra (India)
Age on auction day: 40 years 29 days
The only 40-plus player on this sheet, Mishra was IPL’s most successful spinner for the longest time, until Yuzvendra Chahal overtook him. He’s played 154 matches across stints with Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals, and has three IPL hat-tricks to his name, but hasn’t played since the 2021 season. He still plays domestic T20s for his state team, Haryana.