It's my own decision, says Ashish Nehra on retirement


On Thursday, The left-arm pacer officially confirmed the news that was doing the rounds a day before. But, if a report in Mumbai Mirror is to be believed, Nehra has been planning to hang his boots after the New Zealand series. He will end his 18-year global career with the T20I against New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla, his home ground, on November 1. "I had conveyed what I thought about it to my captain (Virat Kohli), coach (Ravi Shastri) and the team management". I realize that when I retire on November 1, there are five months before the next IPL and I could easily play. I've been a believer of the fact that it's always good to retire when people ask why and not why not. "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 the pacer on the eve of the third and final T20 against Australia here tomorrow. Thanks to the BCCI and anti-corruption unit as well as the cops, I think they looked after each and everything really well.

Making his India debut back in 1999 under Mohammed Azharuddin, Nehra has so far played 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 26 T20 Internationals for the country. "If I am leaving, I will leave completely".

Ashish Nehra had been thinking about retirement plans for a while, but his non-inclusion in the first XI for the first two T20Is against Australia might have hastened the call. His place in the team for the decider on Friday is also under doubt.

In the IPL, where Nehra has played 88 matches and picked up 106 wickets he has an impressive economy rate of 7.85.

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Riddled with idiosyncrasies, inconsistencies and injuries, Ashish Nehra turned out to be one enigmatic character for Indian cricket: a tough nut to crack and an even tougher brain to figure. Last two-three years has been a great journey.

"What we have heard is that Nehra has spoken to the captain and coach and informed them about his decision to retire after the T20 match in Delhi". The 38-year-old, who staged a comeback (albeit in T20I cricket) in 2016 after sitting out for five years, will not even feature in the IPL. "My opinion is that it is better to go when people are saying "why" than when they will say "why not", added Nehra. But he always made sure to make a comeback after going through the rehab and playing in domestic cricket. Now, they say you can easily play for one more year. So those struggling periods made me strong mentally.

"For me the true measure of success is how many times you bounce back from failure", he said. "When you are playing cricket, every day is a memory", he said. I always feel it is not how you start, but how you finish. But for me those are not the only memories. "So I think it is the right time and my decision has been welcomed by all concerned", Nehra signed off. "So, I can't pinpoint a particular performance [as my best]".