Veteran Indian pacer Ashish Nehra yesterday decided to call time on his injury-ravaged career after next month’s opening T20 against New Zealand at his home ground of Delhi, saying “it’s always good to retire when people are asking why rather than why not”. “I have spoken to the team management as well as the chairman of selection committee that the game against New Zealand has come in Delhi. So it can’t get bigger than retiring in front of your home fans where I played my first Ranji Trophy game 20 years ago,” said Nehra.
India pacer Ashish Nehra during a training session yesterday ahead of today’s third T20 against Australia at Hyderabad. Pic/PTI
The seamer, 38, also confirmed that he won’t be playing in the Indian Premier League. The left-arm fast bowler said he could have easily played international cricket for another year. “It is important for me to know what people think about me in the dressing room. So now, they all are saying I can easily play for another one to one and a half year. My thinking has always been that it is good to retire when people are asking why than why not. I always wanted to retire on a high.”
Nehra felt that the younger crop was ready to shoulder the responsibility. “When I came into the series, I came prepared to play all games. I spoke to the captain (Virat Kohli) and coach (Ravi Shastri) straightaway. My thinking is that I should be in the XI if I am available. If you see, I have played in all the T20 games in the past two years so I told my plans to them (team management),” said the Delhi veteran. Making his India debut back in 1999 under Mohammed Azharuddin, Nehra has so far played 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 26 T20I for the country. He has picked 44 Test wickets, besides 157 ODI and 34 T20 scalps. He could have played a lot more but for the constant injuries.