NEW DELHI: Indian fast bowler Ashish Nehra yesterday announced his retirement from international cricket and the Indian Premier League on Thursday after an injury-plagued career. Nehra, 38, who is part of India’s Twenty20 squad in the ongoing series against Australia, will bow out after the first T20 against New Zealand on November 1 at his home ground in New Delhi.
Nehra, who has suffered a series of injury problems and last played for India in February, said he wanted to go out on top and in front of his home fans. “It is always good to retire when people are asking why, rather than why not,” he told reporters in Hyderabad ahead of the third T20 against Australia on Friday. “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 fans where I played my first Ranji Trophy game 20 years ago,” he added.
India will host New Zealand for three one-day internationals and three T20 matches starting October 22. The left-arm quick has collected 157 ODI wickets plus 44 Test and 34 T20 scalps during his 18-year career, since making his debut in the five-day format in 1999. The Delhi native was a vital part of India’s 2003 World Cup campaign in South Africa, where the team ended up as runners-up to Australia. He is best remembered for his figures of 6-23 against England at Durban during the 50-over tournament. Nehra was also a part of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad.
Black Caps coach wary
Elsewhere, New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said yesterday his players need to hit the ground running in India if they want to challenge the world’s top-ranked one-day international team on their home turf. New Zealand, rated fifth in the world, play the first of three one-dayers against India in Mumbai on October 22.
Hesson said the Virat Kohli-led Indians showed their potency in the recent 4-1 ODI series win over Australia. “Look, their record at home has been phenomenal in the last two or three years,” he told reporters as the team departed New Zealand. “You know going over there that you have to perform, otherwise you get taught a pretty harsh lesson. It’s important for us to adapt really quickly.”
Hesson travels to India with a core of nine players, including captain Kane Williamson and batting stalwarts Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor. He will pick a further six players from the New Zealand A side currently touring India. “The beauty of an A tour means we’ve already got people in India, adapting to conditions, so when they come in they should be as familiar as they’re going to be,” he said. Hesson said India presented unique challenges to touring players.
“Obviously there’s the dew factor, the conditions are all very different depending on the grounds you go to,” he said. “We’re going to rely a lot of the experience of our senior players.” He confirmed one-time opener Tom Latham would be moved down the order and handed wicketkeeping duties as New Zealand look for more firepower at the top. “It would be fair to say Martin (Guptill) and Tom, although they have had some really good performances individually, haven’t really clicked at the top and certainly haven’t generated a strike-rate as a pair that we’d like.” – AFP