Indian Cricket’s finest bowler, medium pacer Praveen Kumar has decided to retire from all forms of cricket. After playing for 13 years, the Uttar Pradesh born bowler decided to call it a day. He will now only play company cricket for ONGC.
In an interview to Indian Express, Praveen spoke about his decision saying, “I have decided to retire from cricket. The decision is not taken in haste, I gave a thought over it and I felt it was a right time to say goodbye to the sport which gave me so much. I want to thank my family, BCCI, UPCA, Rajeev (Shukla) sir for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams.”
“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. 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."
Recalling his most memorable moments while playing for India, the 32-year old Praveen picked the England tour and the CB series as the best ones. “Had Zak bhai hadn’t been injured Tests matches ka rukh kuch aur he hota, I still feel about it. And I can’t forget the CB series which we won in Australia, probably it was the highest point in my career,” he said.
The cricketer from UP may have retired, but it looks like he plans to become a bowling coach in the future. “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, I can pass on this experience to the young ones,” he said.
Making his debut against Pakistan in 2007, Praveen played six Tests, 68 ODIs and 10 T20 matches for India and picked up 112 wickets across the formats. He was also team Uttar Pradesh’s main bowler for quite some time during which he played 66 first-class matches and picked 267 wickets at an average of 23.61.