Ashish Nehra confirms retirement; to quit IPL too

Ashish Nehra (Image credit-zeenews.india.com)

Hyderabad: Just a day after the news surfaced that Ashish Nehra would call it a day on his career after the first T20I against New Zealand, the veteran left-arm paceman confirmed on Thursday that he wouldn’t rethink his decision and would also not participate in the IPL anymore.

He said, “I am not playing IPL, so you can judge me from that.”

“So many people will play one or two years of IPL (after retiring from international cricket). Once I’ve decided something then it’s final, there is no going back on that. I always said, never say never, but it’s not applicable in this case,” he also added.

Despite being named in India’s current T20I squad against Australia, the veteran hasn’t yet made it to the playing XI and this might be a reason why he decided to step down from the game altogether.

When asked as to whether there was any  reason as to why he made such a decision Nehra said, “No particular reason. At one point everyone knows it. It’s not an overnight decision. It’s my own decision. I have given it a good thought. When I came into this series, I had come prepared to bowl. The day I linked up with this squad, I spoke to the captain and coach about my plan because whenever Ashish Nehra is in the side he plays in the XI, he doesn’t sit out. We’ve seen that in the T20s over the last couple of years.”

He also added, “Like I said, I put my point of view to them (skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri),” he said. “This is how I feel and this is my thought. Obviously, I could still play. But the first thing Virat said was you can still play, then second thing he said you could play IPL. It’s good that people still think I can play. It was a tough decision for me, but they all respect my decision.”

The 38-year-old also had his say on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been one of India’s star performers in this series so far.

“I feel Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) is ready, the way he has been bowling. And there is no big event in the next five or six months, like a World Cup. I think this is the way forward, especially the manner in which Bhuvneshwar has been bowling in the last couple of years, whenever I’ve played with (Jasprit) Bumrah, either of Bhuvi or (Mohammed) Shami have had to sit out. So I think this is the right time and I think people are welcoming it. I came prepared to play in this series, but I also put across my point of view. If they ask me to play in the XI, I’m available.”

“It’s very important to me what people in the dressing room think. I’ve been a believer of the fact that it’s always good to retire when people ask why and not why not. And it can’t get bigger than the fact that I’m retiring at home. I played my first Ranji game there 20 years ago,” he added.

Nehra’s 20-year-career has been about injuries and making comebacks. He said that fighting out of those injuries made him strong in life.

“For me the true measure of success is how many times you bounce back from failure. When you are always on top, you don’t know how to come back up after a failure. People have always said that you’ve had 11-12 surgeries, how you made a comeback despite that. But they have made me mentally strong. When you make a century or take a five-for, everyone is with you but your character comes when you are not doing well and bounce back from it. It has made a difference even in my normal life, apart from my cricketing life.”

When asked about the comeback he made last year, the Delhi pacer who has been involved in two World Cup campaigns, three Champions Trophies and two Asia Cups said, “It has been great. Like, in between, unfortunately, the problem in India is people count you as playing only when you are playing international cricket or the IPL. In India, only 15 (players) can play at a time, and if you combine all formats maybe 20-25. I was still playing IPL regularly. Last two-three years has been a great journey. I always feel it is not how you start, but how you finish.”

He also added, “Every individual has certain strengths and certain weaknesses. I was always mentally strong. I am that sort of a person who trains day in and day out to play for India. Like I said, I could have played easily one more year of international cricket. People said you are retiring in November, you can still play the next IPL which is just five months away. But it’s my decision that if I leave, I will leave completely, I won’t even play the IPL.”

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