Indian pacer Ashish Nehra will end his illustrious career, spanning for almost two decades against the upcoming T-20 series against New Zealand starting on November 1. Fittingly, Nehra will play his last ever match for India in front of his home crowd of Delhi in the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. Nehra will also retire from domestic & franchise cricket, something which eventually helped him return to the international scene back in 2016.
Nehra was once the main target man for Indian skippers. Known for his swing & accurate bowling, he burst onto the scene back in the 90s. He’s had a lot of injuries, sustaining as many as 12 surgeries with other small setbacks following him throughout his career. Despite all these, Nehra kept on knocking in the national’s team door and was a member of the world cup winning team back in 2011.
A 19-year old Nehra made his international debut back in 1999 against Sri Lanka in a test series. He was a vital member for India even at that time. Nehra was one of the main reasons of India reaching the 2003 world cup final. His 6/23 against England in that tournament despite illness & repeatedly vomiting in the sidelines, defines just how committed he was to his country.
Injuries were so cruel to Nehra that from 2005 to 2009- he couldn’t play a single international match. Nehra’s return to the national team was thanks to his consistency in the domestic scene and IPL. When fit, Nehra was a gem. Alongside Zaheer Khan, he led the Indian pace attack for many years and has been a mentor & idol for many young quicks back in India. Nehra has confirmed he’d like to become a coach one day to, in his words ‘share my experience’ with the new generation. One of Nehra’s most poignant statements was, “My body won’t let me play in my 40s. It’s extremely tough to play at 348-39, especially with the state I’m in. In winter, it takes almost half an hour before I can leave the bed because my knees are sore and I have trouble walking. But after that period, I tell myself that I have to do it”.
Adios, Nehra! It’s been an honour…