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Pragyan Ojha retires from international cricket

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
Last updated on: February 21, 2020 12:51 IST
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Pragyan Ojha gets a high-five from Sachin Tendulkar after bagging five wickets for 40 in 11.2 overs on Day 1 of the second Test between India and the West Indies.

IMAGE: Pragyan Ojha gets a high-five from Sachin Tendulkar after bagging five wickets for 40 in 11.2 overs on Day 1 of the second Test between India and the West Indies, at the Wankhede stadium, on November 14, 2013. The match was the 200th and final one of the batting maestro’s cricketing career. Photograph: BCCI

Former India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket with immediate effect on Friday.

 

The 33-year-old last played for India in 2013 during Sachin Tendulkar's farewell Test against the West Indies in Mumbai. He played 24 Tests between 2009 and 2013 during which he took 113 wickets.

"I am writing this letter to tender my formal retirement from international and first-class cricket with immediate effect," read a statement from Ojha on his Twitter account.

"To be an Indian cricketer and represent the country at the highest level was always a dream I cherished as a youngster.

"I fall short of words to describe how fortunate I have been to have lived my dream and earned the love and respect of my fellow countrymen," he added.

From 18 ODIs, he grabbed 21 wickets. He also played six T20 Internationals.

He said the most memorable moment of his career was receiving his Test cap from Tendulkar.

"(It was like) ... accomplishing the feat of taking 100 Test wickets. I hope to continue contributing towards the growth of Indian cricket in every capacity possible," he said.

Pragyan Ohja gets a hug from captain Rohit Sharma after Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings in the final of IPL 2013.

IMAGE: Pragyan Ohja gets a hug from captain Rohit Sharma after Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings in the final of IPL 2013. Photograph: BCCI

In the early stage of his career, Ojha had a fruitful spin partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin in Tests, taking 20 wickets in the 2011 home Tests against West Indies and 13 the following year against New Zealand.

"My eventful career has witnessed many ups and downs, Over time, I have realised that the legacy of a sportsperson is not just the outcome of his hard work and dedication, but also the faith and guidance bestowed upon by the association (team management), teammates, coaches, trainers and the fans.

"I am indebted to the BCCI for giving me this extraordinary opportunity and putting their belief in me.

"It has been an absolute honour to be associated with the Board, an association that has shaped my professional life and also enriched my personal development," he said.

Ojha, who competed for the erstwhile Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the IPL, was once reported for a suspect action in 2014. He underwent corrective rehabilitation and was cleared in 2015 but was never a very effective bowler after that, leading to his axing from the national team.

"My journey with the Indian Premier League has also been a memorable one and the ‘Purple Cap’ win will always be an indelible memory - a special mention of the teams Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians for making me a part of their legacy.

"I am thankful to VVS Laxman for mentoring me like an elder brother, Venkatapathy Raju for being the role model I always looked to emulate, Harbhajan Singh for being a constant adviser and MS Dhoni for providing me with the honourable opportunity to wear the Indian cap.

He also thanked his contemporaries Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary "who have shared many eventful moments with me and my Hyderabad teammate Amol Shinde".

Ojha played first class and List A matches till 2018.

Ojha's first-class career spanned more than 13 years between 2005 and 2018 during which he played for Hyderabad and also captained Bihar in the Ranji Trophy.

"I have been a part of the Hyderabad Cricket Association for close to 14 years, and the incredible experience I have gained will have an ever-lasting impact.

"I am thankful to Cricket Association of Bengal and Sourav Ganguly for extending their unwavering support during a rough patch of my career. I also appreciate the Bihar Cricket Association for allowing me to lead their team for the short duration that I spent with them."

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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