To represent the country in international cricket is a matter of pride for every cricketer. Every player, who plays cricket, have a dream to play for their nation. Many found their dream was only a hallucination whereas many squandered the opportunity given to them by the selectors. They could not justify their opportunity.

However, there are cricketers who served their respective nation for decades. With their growing age, their presence in cricket became more elegant. They sacrificed their youth; have to stay away from parents, wives or girlfriends, sons and daughters.    

We all know about the service of Sachin Ramesh Tandulkar to his nation – India. He played two and a half decade. From a rookie lad on the pitch he became the maestro of cricket. The teenager, the wonder of cricket, who made debut at the age of 16, has given heart and soul to cricket. He came young on the cricket field and saw many players who came after him reitre on the cricket field. He had to take the toll for lifting the bat at the age of seven. Tennis elbow, back injury were barriers he had overcome to be the “cricketer of this century”. He sustained and played more than 664 matches in all formats of the game. Like Sachin, Rahul Dravid had to sustain wave criticism in the middle of his career for being too much defensive in ODI cricket.

Legendry Kumar Sangakkara, who announced his long waited retirement on Saturday, 27th June, is one of the cricket greats who finally quit international cricket, serving his country for fifteen years. Sri Lankan cricketer even expressed agony of playing excessive cricket for their nation for long time. But, the Sinhalese cricket board requested them to play. The island nation has a problem with their supply chain. Players like the Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasurirya, Kumar Sangakkar, Muttiah Muralitharan come very rarely in Sri Lankan cricket. So, giving the country priority they agreed to stretch out their career.   

Like them, there are other greats, the game has ever known, who sacrificed their youth for respective nations.

Check out the list of cricket greats who played maximum number of international matches in the history of game:    

Cricketers

Country

Test

ODI

T20

Total matches

Sachin Tendulkar

India

200

463

1

664

Mahela Jayawardene

Sri Lanka

149

448

55

652

Kumar Sangakkara

Sri Lanka

131

404

56

591

Sanath Jayasuriya

Sri Lanka

 110

445

31

568

Jacques Kallis

South Africa

166

328

25

518

Ricky Ponting

Australia

168

375

17

506

Rahul Dravid

India

164

344

1

509

Inzamam-ul-Haq

Pakistan

120

378

1

499

Muttiah Murlitharan

Sri Lanka

133

350

12

495

Steve Waugh

Australia

168

325

0

493