Given the demands of the format, limited-overs cricket is not very suitable for older players. Be it in the batting or bowling department, one should have great stamina and vibrancy to compete against youngsters. For a batter, he/she has to do a lot of running and hitting big shots, which is beyond the physical attributes of an older player.
Considering all these fitness concerns, it is quite challenging for a super-senior batter to score a century in the 50-over format. At an age when most cricketers are hanging up their boots, for a player to achieve a triple-digit mark would be a rare but astonishing feat. This article will take you on a ride through the six oldest players to score hundreds in men's ODIs.
#6. Mohammad Nabi - 39 years 39 days
Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi is the latest entry in this list. At 39 years and 39 days old, the right-hander smashed a brilliant hundred in the first ODI of Afghanistan's tour of Sri Lanka in 2024. Although Nabi's 136 off 130 balls went in vain as their Asian rival won by 42 runs, thanks to Pathum Nisanka's record-breaking double hundred, his innings has not lost its focus. With this, the former Afghan captain became the sixth oldest centurion in ODI cricket, surpassing the record of legendary cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar.
#5. Geoffrey Boycott - 39 years 51 days
England great Geoffrey Boycott has only played 36 ODIs in his long career. In his short limited-overs cricket stint, he scored only one century, but interestingly that made him the fifth oldest player to score a century in ODIs. Not particularly known for his attacking game, Boycott scored 108 off 124 balls against Australia in a 1979 match. On the back of his century knock, England managed to post 264 in 49 overs and defeated their rivals by 72 runs.
#4. Ed Joyce - 39 years 111 days
Known for his stroke play and powerful batting, Ireland's Ed Joyce became the third oldest cricketer to score an ODI century. This feat came in an Academy game against U.A.E in January 2018. The Irish team was in trouble while chasing 223, losing two wickets early on. However, Joyce came to the rescue with 116 in 149 balls, including 13 fours and a six to see his team through.
#3. Chris Gayle - 39 years 159 days
On the back of Jos Buttler's 77-ball 150 and Eoin Morgan's 88-ball 103, England posted a mammoth score of 418/6 against West Indies in 2019. Someone needs to produce a spectacular knock to even come close to this huge target, and it was none other than destructive Chris Gayle who rose to the occasion. The Windies legend fought hard as he scored 162 off 97 balls but unfortunately, it went in vain as England won by 29 runs. Gayle's heroics was at the age of 39 years and 159 days.
#2. Sanath Jayasuriya - 39 years 212 days
Former Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya was a consistent performer against Team India, and he was the same in the latter stages of his career. In the curtain-raiser of the five-match ODI series at Dambulla in 2009, the left-hander scored the bulk of the runs for his side, becoming the only player to cross even 50 runs. Jayasuriya made 107 in 114 balls with the help of 10 fours and 1 six. His brave knock, however, ended in a losing cause as India won the game by 6 wickets.
#1. Khurram Khan - 43 years 162 days
U.A.E's Khurram Khan broke Sanath Jayasuriya's record by scoring a century at the age of 43 years and 162 days. Although Khurram made his debut in 2004, his maiden ODI century came a decade later in 2014 against Afghanistan in Dubai. The left-handed middle-order batter scored 132 in 138 deliveries to help his side chase down a target of 281.