The top cricketers who started their career late. Cricket, a game renowned for its unpredictable nature, frequently produces moments of pure genius in international sports.

Within the competitive world of cricket, where a match’s outcome may be determined by a player’s last-ball heroics, there is an enthralling story of veteran players who made their international debuts somewhat late in their careers and left a lasting impression on the 22 yards. 

These late bloomers prove that ability knows no age, defying the usual trajectory that favours youth in the cricket world.

Within the fast-paced world of contemporary cricket, where youth is king, senior players aim to demonstrate that wisdom is a priceless resource.

Cricket players must continue to be agile to maintain their relevance in the intensely competitive quest to represent their national teams, as sports and fitness are mutually reinforcing. 

List of the Top 5 Famous Cricketers Who Started Their Career Late

S.NOPlayer NameAge of DebutCountryPlaying Role
2Michael Hussey29AustraliaBatsman
3Kedar Jadhav29IndiaAll-rounder
4Saeed Ajmal29PakistanSpinner
5Sanjay Bangar29IndiaAll-rounder

1. Misbah-ul-Haq

Legendary Pakistani cricketer Misbah-ul-Haq broke with tradition by playing his first international match at the age of 27.

Misbah, who was born in Mianwali, Pakistan, on May 28, 1974, rose to prominence in cricket via perseverance, leadership, and an incredible batting ability.

Misbah endured early difficulties when entering the international arena in 2001. The cricketers who started their career late the first successes were followed by a decline in performance, which resulted in a brief national sideline.

But he returned triumphantly, establishing himself as a dependable middle-order batsman and a composed leader.

He was named Test captain in 2010 and guided Pakistan to victory in their inaugural Test series in the Caribbean in 2017. Stability, discipline, and a strategic approach defined his reign.

One of Misbah’s defining moments came in 2016 when, at the age of 42, he became the oldest captain to score a Test century.

This accomplishment demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the game in addition to his enduring talent.

Misbah’s captaincy in the limited-overs format helped Pakistan reach the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 final, which was a noteworthy accomplishment for the cricket-mad country.

His management approach was frequently commended for giving the group a feeling of cohesion and direction. Misbah’s impact was seen not only in cricket but also in coaching and administration. 

Player NameYear of DebutCountryPlaying Role

2. Michael Hussey

At the age of 29, Michael Hussey, also lovingly referred to as “Mr Cricket,”.

He is among cricketers who started their career late but made a significant debut in international cricket, which helped him carve out a position for himself in the sport.

Hussey’s story, which began on May 27, 1975, in Morley, Western Australia, is one of perseverance, consistency, and game-winning exploits that led to his elevation to the status of an Australian cricketing legend.

Hussey made his debut against Pakistan in 2004 and soon after gained recognition as a dependable middle-order batsman who could lead the team out of difficult situations.

He was a fearsome force in all forms of the game thanks to his exquisite left-handed batting style and composed demeanour at the wicket. 

With an outstanding average in Test cricket, Hussey’s influence was especially noticeable. During the 2006–2007 Ashes series, he played crucial innings that greatly aided Australia’s victory, demonstrating his tenacity.

Because of his ability to close off games and lead innings in One-Day Internationals, Hussey was a key member of the Australian team.

His contributions were essential to Australia’s victories in important competitions, such as the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup.

He became a fan favourite and an important asset for Australia because of his capacity to perform under duress. Hussey made contributions not only to international cricket but also to domestic and T20 cricket.

Player NameYear of DebutCountryPlaying Role
Michael Hussey29AustraliaBatsman

3. Kedar Jadhav

The talented Indian all-rounder Kedar Jadhav made his debut in international cricket at the age of 29, and he quickly became a major figure.

Kedar Jadhav is among the cricketers who started their career late has been marked by his unconventional approach, powerful batting, and helpful off-spin.

He was born in Pune, India, on March 26, 1985. When Jadhav played for India against Sri Lanka in 2014 at the JSCA International Stadium Complex, it was his big break.

He immediately attracted attention with his aggressive yet unusual batting style and established himself as an important member of India’s middle order.

One of Jadhav’s best outings came in a pivotal One-Day International against England in 2017. He demonstrated his ability to perform well under duress with a stunning century that ended the contest. 

His ability to work as a part-time spinner gave his game a new depth. The team frequently benefited from Jadhav’s modest off-spin, which produced vital breakthroughs in pivotal moments.

A pivotal moment for Kedar Jadhav occurred in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Even though India lost in the semifinals, Jadhav made significant contributions with the bat and the ball.

His tenacious batting approach and ability to take big wickets demonstrated his worth as a true all-round player. But after the World Cup, Jadhav struggled to continue putting up strong performances, which got him kicked from the national team. 

Player NameYear of DebutCountryPlaying Role
Kedar Jadhav29IndiaAll-rounder

4. Saeed Ajmal

The master of spin from Pakistan cricketers who started their career late, Saeed Ajmal, began playing cricket internationally at the age of 29, quickly making a name for himself as one of the strongest spinners in the world.

Ajmal, who was born in Pakistan’s Faisalabad on October 14, 1977, is well-known in the cricket world for his unconventional approach and proficiency with variations.

When Ajmal made his Pakistani debut in 2008, he immediately became known for his distinctive bowling methods.

He was especially skilled at the “doosra,” a ball that spins away from the batsman and adds another level of intricacy to his toolkit. Taking the most wickets for Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup, Ajmal’s career took off. 

His capacity to compete on the biggest platforms was demonstrated by his crucial role in leading Pakistan to the semifinals.

The spin wizard’s influence was seen in Test cricket as well, as his spin dexterity bewildered some of the top batsmen in the world.

His outstanding performances which included many five-wicket hauls established him as Pakistan’s best spinner.

Ajmal persevered in changing his bowling action to comply with international standards, even in the face of controversy. His triumphant comeback following corrective action on his part demonstrated his dedication to the game.

Player NameYear of DebutCountryPlaying Role
Saeed Ajmal29PakistanSpinner

5. Sanjay Bangar

The former Indian cricket player Sanjay Bangar made a name for himself in the sport by making his debut for his country at the age of 29.

Bangar’s is among the cricketers who started their career late distinguished by his all-around achievements and his eventual crossover to coaching and commentary.

He was born on October 11, 1972, in Saharsa, Bihar. In 2001, Bangar played his first Test match for India in Mohali against England.

He has shown versatility in his talents as a medium-pace bowler and a gritty right-handed batter. Bangar’s international career lasted only 15 ODIs and 12 Tests, but during that time he had a lot of impact with the bat and the ball. 

Bangar’s hard-earned half-century under difficult circumstances demonstrated his tenacity and willpower, garnering him recognition as a team player.

After retiring from playing, Bangar became a coach and showcased his cricketing knowledge. From 2014 to 2019, he was India’s batting coach, helping the team’s batting order develop.

India’s batting heavyweights flourished on the international scene under his tutelage. Bangar has served in a variety of coaching roles in domestic and T20 tournaments in addition to his tenure as coach of the Indian team.

Player NameYear of DebutCountryPlaying Role
Sanjay Bangar29IndiaAll-rounder


The stories of late bloomers such as Misbah-ul-Haq, Michael Hussey, Kedar Jadhav, Saeed Ajmal, and Sanjay Bangar in cricket are proof of the game’s enduring spirit.

Their travels emphasize competence, perseverance, and adaptability while defying age-related preconceptions.

The cricketers who started their career late left a lasting impression on the game despite coming to the international scene later in their careers and making big contributions.

Their experiences give rise to the idea that skill and willpower can overcome any clock, and that timing is simply one factor in both cricket and life.

Also, check out Famous cricketers of the World

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