Ashish Nehra: Whenever I was called up, I gave my best

Ashish has been an inspiration to many, he has made comebacks when all his fans felt it was over

Ashish Nehra’s memorable 18-year-old career came to a perfect end in front of his home crowd after India beat New Zealand for the first time ever in a T20I match by 53 runs. After the match, Nehra confessed that he gave his best for the country at all times. Nehra, who has undergone 22 medical operations throughout his playing career, proved to be crucial for India on many occasions. He has played major roles in fetching some big victories for India. He was also the part of the World Cup-winning squad in 2011. Once India beat New Zealand, Nehra took a full lap of the ground in the company of his teammates with his fans cheering. It was a moment that Nehra will remember forever. Virat Kohli gave Nehra the perfect exit by allowing him to bowl the last over. The match ended on an emotional note.

After the match, Nehra spoke about many aspects of his cricketing career.

Sum up your career?

I am a simple guy. I am happy where I am today and I’m not someone who believes in stats too much. When you’re young, you think you’re the King of the Jungle and you’re not wrong. But in the last six-seven years, I can say that whenever I’ve come back to the dressing room, I can say that I gave my best. Still there are regrets, there were injuries and that is true for everyone. Even Sachin Tendulkar would have thought that he could have got another 5000 runs. You are never satisfied in chasing your dreams. But at the same time it is important to be realistic. In 2009, MS Dhoni and Gary Kirsten pushed me to play Test cricket but I maintained that let me play 2011 World Cup and then I will decide. Now I can pass on my experience to new fast bowlers that I kept going despite so many injuries. After 2007-08, I put a lot of effort. I have seen a lot of ups and downs. When you’ve seen a lot of success, you don’t know what failure is. Now I have seen everything and I can help others.

On retirement

I always felt that no bigger thing than to retire at the venue you want to play your last at. It is definitely a lucky moment. I said at the previous press conference too that people may say you can play for six months or 12 months more but I felt it is better to retire when you’re at the top. It will be 19 years since I made my debut and now I’m retiring at the age of 38-39 years. It is emotional that I will be giving up what I’ve been doing for the past 20 years but there is life after this also. Even the people in the current dressing room know that there is life after cricket also.

Meanwhile, by defeating New Zealand, India has helped Pakistan attain the numero uno spot in the T20I rankings. India plays the 2nd T20I on November 4 at Rajkot.