Zaheer Khan has called it a day. After 15 years, 92 Tests and 200 ODIs, one of India's finest pacers has decided to retire from international cricket. He last played for India in February 2014 in a Test match in New Zealand.
Zak, as he is fondly called, announced his decision in a emotional Facebook post which chronicled his journey as a cricketer and thanked everybody who has helped in throughout. He also confirmed he will be a part of IPL next year and will sign off from cricket at the end of the ninth edition of the T20 tournament.
The 37-year old said that the toughest call for any cricketer is when to walk away and that he took this decision he realised that his body would be unable to bowl 18 overs in a day.
The pace spearhead is no stranger to injuries and has been in and out of the side because of recurring injuries. "As I was training for the upcoming season, it dawned on me that my shoulder may not last the rigours of bowling nearly eighteen overs a day, and that's when I knew it was time," Zak wrote.
Zaheer went on to trace his journey from Shrirampur, a small village in Maharashtra to the international cricket."As a kid from a small town Shrirampur, I gave up a career in engineering to pursue bowling. My parents backed that decision and every decision since! My dad, I distinctly remember said, 'Engineers toh bahut saare hein tu bowler hi ban na!' (there are many engineers, you become a bowler).
He also thanked all his teams teammates, family, friends and all his fans who stood by him through his career, he even thanked the media for 'constructive criticism'.
"Cricket has been my only life over the past two decades and is in fact that the only thing I know well. Cricket has made me the individual I am, giving me everything in life and much more. I walk away with fantastic memories, life defining experiences and great friendships," he wrote.
In the end, he also promised that he may leave the players arena but he will be back to give back to the game. "'Zak is Back' is perhaps a headline that may come my way again, as I have every intention of giving back to this game and our wonderful country which gave this kid from Shrirampur the opportunity to chase and live his dream!," he signed off.
The heartfelt message shows how much the game meant to him and as he prepares for a new innings as a former player, his career can be succinctly describes by his mother's reaction to his retirement, Theek hein, bahut accha safar tha hamara ...." (It's all right, the journey was good)
Here's wishing Zak all the best for the new beginning.
Read the full post here
Updated Date: Oct 16, 2015 00:01:41 IST