Indian fast bowler Ashish Nehra on Thursday confirmed reports that he has decided to retire from all forms of cricket after playing at his home ground in Delhi, which is hosting a Twenty20 International against New Zealand next month. The 38-year-old said that he has informed the Indian team management and the chairman of the selection committee, MSK Prasad, of his decision.
“The game against New Zealand has come in Delhi so you can’t get a bigger opportunity than that to retire in front of your home crowd where I played my first Ranji Trophy game 20 years ago,” said Nehra during a press conference.
Nehra will draw curtains on his illustrious 18-year career, which included winning the World Cup in 2011. The Delhi pacer also confirmed that he will not even play in the Indian Premier League.
“I was always mentally strong and whenever I used to train I always used to train to play for India,” he said. “People are telling me that I can still play in the IPL, but I am such a person that I will only play for India. I retire in November and I know that there are five months in between and I can easily play IPL. I also said I can play another year of international cricket also. But it was my decision that once I will leave, I will leave and I won’t even play IPL.”
Asked for the reason behind his decision to retire, Nehra said that he always wanted to leave the game when he was in his prime. And with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami playing well in T20Is, he thought it was the right time to step down.
“It is always good to retire when people are asking why rather than why not,” he said. “I always wanted to retire on a high. This is the way forward and there are no big tournaments coming up as well. For the past two years it has been Jasprit Bumrah and me bowling in tandem. It was either Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Mohammed Shami sitting on the sidelines. Hence I thought it was the right time and they have welcomed my decision.”