Ashish Nehra, the 38-year-old Indian pacer, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Thursday (October 12). He will bow out from the international scene after the first Twenty20 International against New Zealand which is set to be played at his home ground at the Feroz Shah Kotla on November 1.
“I have spoken to the team management as well as the chairman of selection committee. It can’t get bigger than getting to retire in front of your home crowd,” Nehra told journalists in Hyderabad ahead of the third T20I against Australia.
Nehra made his international debut in 1999 in the longest format of the game. However, it was in the 50-over format that he found success. He had a tremendous 2003 World Cup in South Africa, where India eventually ended as the runners-up. His spell of 6 for 23 against England in that competition remains his best figures in One-Day Internationals and also the best-ever by an Indian bowler in a World Cup game.
Knee and back injuries forced Nehra out of the international arena for close to four years. He made a comeback to the national team in the shorter format and on the back of consistent performances, the pacer was selected for the 2011 World Cup in India. He was a key member of the team that was eventually crowned champions, albeit a finger injury ruling him out of the final. Nehra never played an ODI for India after that.
Nehra was bought by Chennai Super Kings in the 2014 IPL auction. He had two good seasons for that franchise and the selectors recalled him for the T20Is against Australia in January 2016. He continued to be part of Indian squad in the shortest format and spearheaded the bowling attack in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup at home.
His last appearance in Indian colours was during the home T20I series against England earlier this year. After being omitted for the West Indies and Sri Lanka series, Nehra was recalled for Australia’s T20I leg. Though he was part of the squad, he never took part in the training drills prior to the first T20I in Ranchi. He was spotted bowling in the side nets before the Guwahati encounter, but couldn’t find a place in the playing eleven.
Nehra will also not take part in the IPL hereafter.