Since the starting of Cricket in the 18th century, thousands of players have played the game for their respective countries, states, or counties. The span of a player’s career is decided by his/her performance. A player is considered great if he/she has played consistent cricket for his side for 10-12 years. However, it takes unending hunger for scoring runs and sheer commitment towards the game to play the game for more than 15 years and only a few have been able in playing for such a long period. One can easily recall Sachin Tendulkar’s name as the Indian cricketer who has played the game for the longest time. But there are some players who surpass even the God of Cricket in terms of the length of their careers. We’ve compiled a list of 5 cricketers who have played the game for the longest time.

5. Sachin Tendulkar- India (24 years, 1 day): It is one of the few lists where the name of Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar is featured at the last. Starting his career at an early age of 16 years and 205 days against Pakistan in November 1989, Sachin went on to play for his country for 24 years and 1 day. The right-handed batsman played his last match against West Indies on November 16, 2013, which was also his 200th Test match. In his 24 years long career, Sachin played for India in 664 International matches. He has scored 18,426 ODI runs and 15,921 Test runs for his side. 

4. George Headley- West Indies (24 years, 10 days): George Alphonso Headley emerged as a ray of hope for the war-struck West Indies. Despite his inconsistent batting performances, Headley got the tag of the black Bradman because of his remarkable scoring feats. The great black batsman was the first batsman to score a hundred in each innings of a Test at Lord’s, in 1939. Headley has scored 2,190 runs in 22 Tests at an average of 60.83. He made 10 centuries in his career to earn a name for himself. Headley performed equally well in the first-class cricket in which he scored 9921 runs at an average of 69.86 with the help of 33 centuries.

George Headley

3. Frank Woolley- England (25 years, 13 days): The early 19th century English Batsman Frank Edward Woolley was one of the most classy and technically sound cricketers of his generation. He was known for his impressive use of feet against pacers. Woolley played 64 Test matches for his side in his 25 years long career, scoring 3283 runs, at an average of 36.07. He was an equally useful bowler and took 87 wickets in his career. He played first-class cricket from 1906 to 1938, scoring a whopping 58,969 runs at an average of 40.75. He made 145 centuries in his first-class career. As a bowler, Woolley took 2,066 wickets for 19.87 runs each.

Frank Woolley

2. Dennis Brian Close- England (26 years, 356 days): Dennis Brian Close is another Englishman on the list dominated by cricketers from England. Starting his Test career on July 23, 1949, against New Zealand, Close became the youngest player to represent England, a chance that he got after a spectacular all-round first season while playing for Yorkshire. However, he kept getting in and out of the team due to his inconsistent performance. In nearly 27 years long cricketing career, Brain Close got to play only 22 Test matches in which he scored 887 runs with the help of 4 half-centuries at an average of 25.34. He also played 3 ODI matches in which he scored just 49 runs. He also donned the hat of a selector for his national side in the late ’70s.

Dennis Brian Close

1. Wilfred Rhodes- England (30 years, 315 days): At the top of the list is another English cricketer who made his Test debut against Australia on June 1, 1899, and went on to play till April 1930. In his 30 years long career, Rhodes played just 58 Test matches for his side in which he scored 2325 runs with the help of 2 centuries and 11 half-centuries at an average of 30.19. He also took 127 wickets for his side. It was the era that was dominated by county cricket and Rhodes played an important role for his county side, Yorkshire. One of the greatest cricketers of England, Rhodes played 1,110 county cricket matches, scoring 39,969 runs at an average of 30.81 with the help of 58 centuries and 197 half-centuries. He also took 4,184 wickets in 37 county season that he played. He inarguably was a great all-rounder.

Wilfred Rhodes