Mumbai: In a surprising move, the senior most player in the current Indian team, Ashish Nehra, on Thursday, bid adieu to all formats of Cricket, including the Indian Premiere League (IPL), saying that the November 1 T20I against New Zealand will be his last outing in competitive Cricket.
While announcing his retirement, he said, “It’s my own decision. Match on November 1 is in Delhi. There is no bigger thing that to retire in your hometown.”
“I have spoken to the team management and the selection committee (about retiring). The game against New Zealand is in Delhi so you can’t get better than that when you retire in front of your home crowd,” the 38-year-old said at a press conference ahead of the third T20I against Australia here.
“It is always better to retire when people are saying why rather than why not. I always wanted to retire on a high,” he added.
He emphasised that he will never roll back his retirement and will not even play the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL).
“There will be a gap of five months between the next edition of IPL and November. So I can easily play in IPL. But I train only to play for India and once I retire from international cricket, I will not play in the IPL as well,” the left-armer said.
He also heaped praise on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah saying, “I think Bhuvi and Bumrah are doing really well. And that this is the way forward for me.”
The 38-year-old paceman, who marked huis debut in international cricket way back in December 1999 against Sri Lanka, had been selected to play in the thrid Twenty20 International against Australia, scheduled to be played at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
Earlier the speculations regarding his retirement erupted after a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official was quoted as saying by a web portal that Nehra ji has informed about his decision to team India skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri.
“What we have heard is that Nehra has spoken to the captain and coach and informed them about his decision to retire after the T20 match in Delhi. Nehra has requested for one last match at his home ground and wants to go out on a high,” the official was quoted as saying.
Nehra, who is currently the most aged person in the Indian T20I set up, represented the country in 17 Tests, 120 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 26 T20Is. In his Test career, he took 44 wickets, while in ODIs, he managed to get 157 scalps with the best figures of 6/23. In T20Is, he emerged as a much better bowler as he took 34 wickets at an average of 21.44.
He last appeared in a Test match back in 2004 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi, while his last ODI was also against the same team in the 2011 ICC World Cup. Interestingly, his last outings in both formats were in a winning cause as India had defeated Pak in Rawalpindi Test by an inning and 131 runs while in the Mohali ODI by 29 runs.
It would be interesting to see, if Nehra ji gets a winning farewell at his home-ground or not!