Former India and Uttar Pradesh seamer Praveen Kumar has retired from all forms of cricket. Known for his ability to swing the ball both ways and bowl long spells, the 32-year old played 84 internationals for India between 2007 and 2012, taking 112 wickets across formats.
“I have no regrets. Dil sey khela, dil sey bowling daala [I played and bowled with my heart]. There are good bowlers waiting in the wings back in UP and I don’t want their careers to be affected,” Praveen told the Indian Express.” Mein kheloonga toh ek ka jagah jayega, [If I play, one spot would go]; it’s important to think of other players’ future as well. My time is over and I have accepted it. I’m happy and thankful to god for giving me this chance.”
He made his ODI debut against Pakistan in Jaipur in 2007 and soon established himself as one of the key members of India’s bowling attack alongside Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra. He was central to India’s title win the Commonwealth Bank ODI tri-series in Australia, also involving Sri Lanka. After dismissing Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting in successive overs in the first final, he claimed 4 for 46 in the second final to help India defend 258 and seal the series.
“I can’t forget the CB series which we won in Australia, probably it was the highest point in my career,” he said.
Praveen also made some vital contributions in Test cricket although he played only six matches. He was India’s highest wicket-taker on their disastrous tour to England in 2011, picking up 15 wickets in three Tests, including figures of 5 for 106 that got him onto the Lord’s honours boards.
He sparkled briefly in T20 cricket as well, studded by an IPL hat-trick for Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals in 2010.
His highlights in the Ranji Trophy, included a career-best 8 for 68 that ripped through the Delhi line-up in the final in January 2008, but it was not enough to win the title for UP. His last competitive match came in January earlier this year for UP against Baroda in the 20-over Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Praveen still hoped to be associated with the game and expressed a desire to take up coaching.
“I want to become a bowling coach. People know that I have this knowledge. I think it’s an area which I can work dil se [dedicatedly], I can pass on this experience to the young ones.” (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)