It is said that aging cricketers are not worthy enough for the team as the shorter format of the game demands more agility and athleticism on the field.
But the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), labelled as 'Daddy's Army', have proved the critics wrong, reaching as many as nine nine finals, winning four of them.
Many players in CSK are above 35, but they can win any match on their own strengths. However, in the 2022 IPL starting Saturday, CSK share the 'Daddy's Army' tag with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), as the two-time champions this time have players like Mohammad Nabi, Sheldon Jackson and Sunil Narine, who are all close to 35 or above.
Veteran South African spinner Imran Tahir, 43, who was part of the CSK squad that won the IPL in 2021, was the oldest player, while Afghanistan's 17-year-old Noor Mohammad was the youngest in the IPL auctions.
The oldest Indian players in the auction were Amit Mishra (39) and S. Sreesanth (39), and both remained unsold.
let's take a look at the average age of the teams:
Chennai Super Kings: Average age 28
Four-time champions Chennai Super Kings were labelled and mocked as 'Daddy's Army', as it was the only squad with an average age of over 30 in IPL 2021. But this time the franchise picked a relatively younger squad as their average age is 28, comparatively lower than the previous edition.
However, at 40, Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains the oldest player in the squad, which also features 19-year-old rookie batter Rajvardhan Hangargekar.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Average age 28
With 10 players aged 30 or more, including Sam Billings, Sheldon Jackson, Mohammad Nabi, Ajinkya Rahane and Sunil Narine, KKR have snatched the 'Daddy's Army' tag from CSK this time. However, they have also included some young players like Ashok Sharma, who is only 19, along with Rasikh Salam (20) and Anukul Roy (23).
Delhi Capitals: Average age 26
After the inclusion of talented youngsters like Yash Dhull (19), Vicky Ostwal (19) and destructive batter Prithvi Shaw (22) in their ranks, the Delhi Capitals team is quite young on paper in IPL 2022. The team led by the young and dynamic Rishabh Pant (24) also has David Warner (35) as the eldest member of the squad.
Gujarat Titans: Average age 23
The new entrant in the Indian premier League is the youngest team as their average age is just 23. The team features the youngest player in IPL 2022, Afghanistan's 17-year-old Noor Mohammad, while veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha (37) is the senior most member of the squad.
Lucknow Super Giants: Average age 27
With some young players like Avesh Khan (25), Ravi Bishnoi (21) and Karan Sharma (25) in their ranks, Lucknow Super Giants have a young squad in their inaugural IPL season. The squad also has some experienced players in Mark Wood (32, out of the squad due to injury), Jason Holder (30) and skipper K.L. Rahul (29).
Mumbai Indians: Average age 25
While the franchise has few of India's most experienced international stars in the squad, they also boast of talented youngsters like Ishan Kishan (23), Arjun Tendulkar (22) and Tilak Verma (19), who is the youngest player in the squad. Rohit Sharma (34) and Kieron Pollard (34) are the senior pros in the Mumbai squad.
Punjab Kings: Average age 26
Punjab Kings have a relatively young squad this time. In previous editions, they had veterans like Chris Gayles, who is above 41, but this time most of the members are 25 or younger. India batter Shikhar Dhawan (36) is the oldest member of the squad, while 19-year-old Raj Bawa is the youngest.
Rajasthan Royals: Average age 27
Despite a number of players, including Ravichandran Ashwin (35), Trent Boult (32) and Jos Buttler (31), being on the other side of 30, the team has an average age of 27 this season. The franchise has roped in some young talents like Yashasvi Jaiswal (20), Dhruv Jurel (21) and Shimron Hetmyer (25).
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Average age 25
Royal Challengers Bangalore have 12 players in the 25 to 29 age bracket, and 10 players in the 30 and above category. Their youngest player, Aneeshwar Gautam, is 19. Faf du Plessis, at 37, is the oldest, followed by Dinesh Karthik (36).
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Average age 25
While few of Sunrisers Hyderabad's 23-member squad are 30 or above, including Bhuvneshwar Kumar (32), Rahul Tripathi (31) and Kane Williamson (31), They have some young talents in Priyam Garg (21), Fazalhaq Farooqi (21), Marco Jansen (21) and Kartik Tyagi (21).