Abhishek Nayar quits First Class cricket

The Times of India

The Times of India

Author 2019-10-23 14:47:00

imgMUMBAI: Veteran all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, who was instrumental in many of Mumbai's Ranji Trophy triumphs in the millennium, has retired from First-Class cricket.

Confirming the development, Nayar said: "Yes, I gave a letter to the BCCI and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) when I was in the West Indies (to help the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League) last month, informing them of my decision to quit the game. I thanked both of them, all my coaches, my teammates, family and friends for all the support they gave me through my thick and thin," Nayar told TOI on Tuesday.

A reliable left-handed batsman and a seam bowler, the 36-year-old played 99 First-Class games, before he was dropped during the 2017-18 season by Mumbai. Nayar then moved to Puducherry, for whom he played in his last four FC games, taking five for 76 against Sikkim in his last FC innings. He played three ODIs for India under MS Dhoni's captaincy in 2009, but couldn't pick up a wicket or score a run, and was subsequently dropped for good. However, he enjoyed an epic FC career, in which he scored 5749 runs in 103 matches@45.62, with 13 hundreds and 32 fifties under his belt.

His highest score was 259. He took 173 wickets@31.47, with six five-wicket hauls. "At the end of the day, I've no regrets in my career, not even the fact that I couldn't play my 100th FC game for Mumbai. After all, how many players get to play 99 games for Mumbai? I'm lucky that I played 99. Not playing that one game doesn't change the way I look at the 99 games I played for Mumbai. I'm extremely happy and content with my career, and Mumbai cricket will always have a special place close to my heart. I know what it takes to be a part of that dressing room," Nayar said. "I made good friends in my game, and played with all my heart and will," he added.

Since July last year, Nayar has been the lead coach and mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders academy in Bengaluru. From this season though, he has been named as the assistant coach of the side, with former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum being the head coach. For the last few years, he has mentored quite a few international players like Dinesh Karthik and Shreyas Iyer. Recently, India's under-19 star at one point, Unmukt Chand, too admitted to being mentored by him. "I'm happy to have smoothly made the transition from being a player to being a coach. Mentoring and helping cricketers is something that I enjoy doing, and will keep doing till I'm alive," Nayar said.

Nayar was recently commentating in Hindi during the third Test between India and South Africa at Ranchi.

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