Indian fast bowler Ashish Nehra has announced his retirement from international cricket on November 1, 2017. The T20I match against New Zealand at Feroze Shah Kotla on November 1 will be the last match of his international career.
“Yes, Ashish has told both Ravi and Virat that he does not want to continue beyond November 1 when India plays New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Obviously, there is some element of surprise. One thought that he would like to continue till the home season against Sri Lanka. But he feels, it”s the right time to move on,” an official told PTI.
The 38-year-old Delhi pacer played 17 tests, 120 ODIS and 26 T20Is for India picking 44, 157 and 34 wickets respectively. He made his international debut in 1999. His career was plagued by injuries, forcing him to undergo 12 surgeries throughout the course of his career. Nehra was a vital cog in Sourav Ganguly”s team of the 2002-03 era. He formed a great bowling pair with Zaheer Khan in his heydays to give India crucial breakthroughs.
He was dropped from the side in 2004 following a bad patch and didn”t don national colors for next five years. In 2009, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gary Kirsten brought him back in the side considering him as back up strike bowler in absence of Zaheer Khan. He was even offered a comeback in tests but he declined as his body was not ready and 2011 World Cup was just around the corner.
He stayed a permanent member of Indian team till the end of 2011 World Cup. In the semifinal vs Pakistan, he suffered a serious hand injury which ruled him out of the final as well as subsequent few months. Once he recovered he was again ignored when selectors decided to invest only in youth in 2011, thereby grooming Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and again didn”t show up for 5 years.
Meanwhile, his performances in IPL were monumental which earned him a national call-up in early 2016 vs Australia. He played few T20Is for India at the start of 2016 including the WT20 before getting injured again. Nehra was again drafted into the side in October 2017 against Australia.
He made his debut under Mohammad Azharuddin”s captaincy and has played under Tendulkar, Ganguly, Sehwag, Dravid, Dhoni and will play under Kohli should he get a game now.
There is a famous picture on social media where Nehra is seen giving some prize to Virat Kohli who was a kid back then. Little did he know one day he will play under that kid”s captaincy.
Looking back at his career he will feel he could have achieved more had he not suffered so many injuries. Nehra”s life story is another inspiring one which sends the message, “No matter how many times you fall in life, always get up!”
– by Atharva Apte