Mumbai, Oct 15 (IANS) Left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan, who announced his retirement from international cricket on Thursday said, he consulted batting legend Sachin Tendulkar before calling time on his India career.
Following a shoulder injury that has put paid his efforts to return to action, Zaheer has capped a 14-year long career punctuated by considerable success as well as crippling injuries.
“Before taking the decision of retiring from international cricket, I had consulted Sachin. We talked about a lot of issues regarding my career and my future. I also talked to Ashish Nehra, Ajit Agarkar and also consulted my coaches before taking the decision,” Zaheer told reporters here on Thursday.
The 37-year-old made his India debut in 2000 and played his last game for the country in 2014 against New Zealand at Wellington.
He played in 92 Tests and 200 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), picking up 282 and 311 wickets, respectively. He also claimed 17 wickets in as many T20 internationals.
“It was really tough to take the decision. I think it was the right time to take the decision. I am very much satisfied with the career I had. I had taken up all the challenges that were thrown to me in my career and I hope I performed my duties well,” he said.
He will, however, call time on his domestic career after the conclusion on the 2016 Indian Premier league (IPL 9). Zaheer played for Delhi Daredevils in the 2015 IPL and for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy.
He said former India pacer Javagal Srinath had told him to continue for another year in the international arena.
“Srinath was the one who told me to continue for another year. But I think it was a special journey and I enjoyed every bit of it. I always aimed to bowl in the right areas and put India on the top with my bowling.”
Zaheer said he wants his fans and the cricketing world to remember him as a player who never gave up on the field.
“I want to be remembered as someone who never gave up on the field. I always had that attitude on the field to give my best and pick as many wickets as possible,” the retiring pacer said.
Born in Shrirampur, Maharashtra, Zaheer is India’s fourth highest wicket-taker in Tests after spin legend Anil Kumble (619), pace king Kapil Dev (434) and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (417).
He also claimed 17 scalps from as many Twenty20s and was the joint highest wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup along with Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, claiming 21 wickets at an average of 18.76.
Sri Lanka batting legend Kumar Sangakkara named Zaheer as the bowler he found most tough to face.
Speaking on it, Zaheer said, “I feel proud that such a great player like Sangakkara praised me. It is really an honour and most importantly it was an honour and pleasure and proud moment to represent India for such a long time.”