India vs New Zealand 2017: Ashish Nehra reveals why he will no longer play in IPL
What's the story?
Veteran fast bowler Ashish Nehra has opened up on the thought-process behind his decision to retire from all forms of cricket instead of just the international arena. At the end of his final appearance for his country, the 38-year old explained his choice to not play in the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and exuded contentment on getting the opportunity to retire in front of his home crowd whilst donning the Indian jersey.
Speaking to reporters following India's 53-run victory in Delhi, Nehra affirmed, "There will be regrets. But I see myself (as) a very lucky guy that I have got the opportunity to retire after 19-20 years in spite of (suffering) so many injuries. The good thing was that the team management always wanted me to play. Even till six months back, they were asking me to play Champions Trophy. But I just pulled my hammy (hamstring). For me, those fifteen people in the (Indian) team are the most important. I am very happy that they still value me."
The left-arm pacer added, "They (most of the Indian team members) were really surprised that I am retiring even from IPL. I am that sort of a person, it's very difficult for me to wake up in the morning and train just to play for the IPL. (During the course of my career) I have had ten or eleven surgeries. It wasn't easy but I am a very content guy who always sees the positive things."
Unlike most of his contemporaries who have participated in various T20 leagues after retiring from the international arena, Nehra had announced that he would walk away from all forms of cricket following the conclusion of the first T20I between India and New Zealand at his home venue of Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.
The heart of the matter
Since making his IPL debut with Mumbai Indians during the inaugural season in 2008, Nehra has represented quite a few franchises such as Pune Warriors, Delhi Daredevils, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the subsequent editions of the highly popular Twenty20 tournament.
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Even though a hamstring injury prevented him from playing in the knockout stages, Nehra picked up 9 wickets at an average of 7.65 in the league stage and played a key role in Sunrisers' triumphant campaign in 2016. The persistently recurring hamstring issue restricted his 2017 IPL season to just 6 appearances. While plenty of players will be up for grabs in the 2018 IPL auction, the senior fast bowler's name will be conspicuously absent.
As with the vast majority of cricketers who retired in recent times, Nehra has expressed his desire to try and get into coaching or commentary. It remains to be seen if any IPL franchise approaches the experienced campaigner for the role of mentor or bowling coach.
Nehra's statements are not surprising as he was one of those seasoned stalwarts who always valued playing for India much more than turning out for an IPL franchise.
Even though he could have ostensibly played in the next IPL season and burgeoned his finances, the veteran has decided to allow a younger pacer to take his spot in the franchise and consequentarrive into the reckoning for national selection.