Ashish Nehra, in all probability, will retire on November 1 in Feroz Shah Kotla, which is his home ground against New Zealand in the 1st T20I clash. Old warhorse Nehra has served the Indian team since 1999 when he made his international debut against Sri Lanka at Colombo. But his 18-year long career has seen him rise and fall at the same time. Nehra, one can safely say is the master of comebacks. He made comebacks when one thought it was the end of the road for the pacer from Delhi. Injuries have played a huge role in setting him back in life everytime one felt he is peaking. He has led the Indian seam attack on many occasions. Who can forget his dream spell against England in the 2003 cricket World Cup in South Africa, where he bagged 6 wickets to help India win. Nehra has also played under many captains, ranging from Sourav Ganguly to MS Dhoni to Virat Kohli.
But did he get to pick his farewell match, in times and days when performance is the only yardstick for selection? Mind you, I am a Nehra supporter but if this has happened it is sad!
So here is what actually transpired.
Nehra, who didn’t play in the first two T20s against Australia, said that he wants to retire from the game on his home ground on 1 November.
Nehra made the statement when the Indian squad wasn’t even picked for the three-match T20 series against New Zealand.
Nehra announced his retirement on 12 October and the squad was selected on 23 October.
Nehra said, “When I came into this series, I had come prepared to bowl. The day I joined the squad, I spoke to the captain and coach [and told them] about my plan, because whenever Ashish Nehra is on 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. I feel Bhuvneshwar is ready and there is no big event in the next five or six months, like a World T20.”
So, it seems the selectors headed by MSK Prasad was left with no option but to select the pacer for one last time. Yet, MSK Prasad also went on to mention that he will be in the squad but will he feature in the XI or not the management will decide. Fair enough? Not quite!
In a similar situation Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and a few others will also be pressing for their farewell match. Now, will every superstar get their wish granted?
The term that was used ‘nepotism’ may sound harsh but to a certain degree, this is nepotism of a different nature. Whom does it benefit, only BCCI can answer!
— ANI (@ANI) November 1, 2017
Meanwhile, India will lock horns with New Zealand in a 3-match T20I series, starting November 1.