Veteran India pacer Ashish Nehra will reportedly pull down the curtains on his 19-year-old international career after the first Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Delhi on November 1.
The 38-year-old, who plays only Twenty20 cricket, has informed India captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri of his decision retire, according to a PTI report. The Kotla T20I will give Nehra a chance to finish his injury-plagued career at home.
With a World Twenty20 not scheduled for 2018, Nehra reportedly told the Indian team management that it was is only fair that performing juniors earn game time ahead of the next edition in 2020. Nehra will also opt out of playing in the next season of the Indian Premier League, the report said.
“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,” PTI quoted a BCCI official as saying. “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.”\
Nehra was recently picked for the three-match T20I series against Australia. However, the team management favoured the pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first two matches.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are form bowlers and Ashish felt that it’s only fair in the interest of the team that they continue,” the official quoted above added. “Had there not been a match at Kotla next month, Ashish would have retired after playing the third T20 International [against Australia] at Hyderabad on October 13.”
Making his India debut back in 1999 under Mohammed Azharuddin, Nehra has played 17 Tests, 120 One-Day Internationals and 26 T20 Internationals. The left-armer picked up 44 Test wickets, 157 ODI and 34 T20 scalps.
He is best remembered for a brilliant 6/23 against England at Durban in the 2003 World Cup, a match he played despite being unwell. He was also a part of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad and delivered with a match-winning performance in the semi-final against Pakistan. However, he missed the final after suffering a fracture to his finger.
It is learnt that a few IPL franchises have lined up to recruit Nehra as their bowling coach-cum-mentor as his expertise and knowledge with the white ball is highly rated.
(With inputs from PTI)