Suresh Raina pays tribute to `retiring` Ashish Nehra

Sarbananda Sonowal

He also said that playing for India was always the motivation for him, which is why he has retired from all official cricket.

The 38-year-old veteran speedster has reportedly informed the BCCI that he would be quitting worldwide cricket after the first T20I against New Zealand to be played at his home ground, the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi, on November 1.

Nehra revealed that he had come prepared for Australia T20I series and wanted to be in the Playing XI but could not. It is my own decision. He was a budding cricketer and I thought he had the right attitude and deserved a chance. The day I linked up with this squad, I spoke to the captain and coach about my plan because whenever Ashish Nehra is in the side he plays in the XI, he doesn't sit out.

"I feel Bhuvneshwar [Kumar] is ready, the way he has been bowling". Also, there are no World Cup or any big events in the next five to six months.

Riddled with idiosyncrasies, inconsistencies and injuries, Ashish Nehra turned out to be one enigmatic character for Indian cricket: a tough nut to crack and an even tougher brain to figure.

"It's very important to me what people in the dressing room think". "People say "you have had 11-12 surgeries, so how can you continue". My thinking has always been that it is good to retire when people are asking why than why not. But the first thing Virat said was you can still play, then second thing he said you could play IPL.

"When I told Virat Kohli about my opinion, the first thing he said was that you can still play", said the he 38-year-old Nehra, ahead of India's third T20I against Australia in Hyderabad on Friday. "It will help me in future too", he said. Whenever I used to train, I trained to play for India.

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He said his focus was always on India comeback and not about IPL. "So, I can't pinpoint a particular performance [as my best]". "I did not take the decision over night".

But under the leadership of MS Dhoni, he made yet another successful comeback in 2009 and also went on to feature in the Wolrd Cup of 2011. Since the start of 2016, Nehra has picked 21 wickets from 18 T20Is at an average of 21.66. Apart from Lasith Malinga, who played 98 matches, Nehra is the only bowler to pick to have played less than 100 games and scalp 100 wickets.

Nehra also informed that since he has made up his mind, he won't even play in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League, since there is no going back after a decision has been made.

Nehra, who had an injury-prone career, always struggled to play at a stretch for the national team.

"For me the true measure of success is how many times you bounce back from failure", he said.

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