Ashish Nehra has finally decided to call it a day on his glorious 18 years long career after the T20I match against New Zealand at his home ground Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. He was the only remaining player from the ones who started their international career in the decade of the 1990s. He will be retiring from all form of cricket including the IPL.
Throughout his career, he has battled injuries more than anybody else. He has had some 12 surgeries and still made comebacks into the national team. Even at the age of 38, he forced his way back into the national side and that was something which none have done. He was a part of the World Cup winning squad that won the World Cup in 2011. Though, he was forced to sit out of the finals after picking an injury during the semi-finals.
After making his international debut in the year 1999 against the Sri Lankans on their soil, he was a regular fixture of the team for the first few years. He led the bowling department from the front during the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup and was instrumental in India reaching the finals of that World Cup. After injuries started taking its toll, he didn’t play a single match for India between 2005 and 2009. However, he was called back to spearhead the bowling attack alongside in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. He played for as many as four IPL franchises and had the best stint with CSK during the 2015 IPL season as he was among the top 5 wicket takers with 22 scalps to his name. That performance helped him to gain a berth in the national team T-20 set up and played a crucial role in the ICC 2016 T-20 World Cup where India advanced to the semi-finals.
All the veterans have echoed in one voice that if 100% fit, Nehra is their premier fast bowler and that is the reason why he has been able to play so long for India. Having quit test cricket long back and also not in contention for the One Day spot due to fitness issues, he is currently in the squad that has been selected for the T-20Is against Australia. Having warmed the bench for the first two matches, he might get a game under his belt in the decider. He was given the title “Nehra Ji” from his former teammate and friend Virender Sehwag. He has not discussed his post-retirement plans yet. Hope he will help mentoring the young fast bowlers from the sidelines.
Article By Navneet