Tributes galore for retiring Zaheer

Mumbai, Oct 15 (IANS) Tributes flowed in from across the cricketing community for left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan, who called time on his international career on Thursday.

The 37-year-old ended his 14-year long international career due to a series of injuries, the latest being a shoulder complaint. He made his India debut in 2000 and played his last game for the country in 2014 at Wellington against New Zealand.

He is leaving the stage after playing in 92 Tests and 200 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), picking up 282 and 311 wickets, respectively. He will however call time on his domestic career after the conclusion on the 2016 Indian Premier league (IPL 9).

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was one of the first to pay tribute to the fast bowler.

“So long, Zaheer Khan. Thank you for all your brilliance on the cricket field,” the BCCI tweeted.

Several former teammates continued showering the Shrirampur-born quick.

“One of the coolest pace bowlers I know. He was a bowler who could ‘out think’ the batsman most of the times. Always up for a challenge. I am sure he will do well as he begins a new chapter in his life. Wishing @ImZaheer all success in his retired life,” batting legend Sachin Tendulkar wrote on Twitter.

“Well done ZAK on a fantastic career. Without U it would have been very difficult to achieve what the ICT did.most clever fast bowler I know. Life has just started now, U still can and definitely will contribute a lot to Indian Cricket. Wish U all the success,” India’s limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.

“To a great fast bowler & an even greater person, I wish you luck in all future endeavours @ImZaheer bhai. You have inspired many like me,” Virat Kohli, India Test captain said.

“Congratulations to @ImZaheer on a fantastic international career!,” the International Cricket Council (ICC) said.

“Wonderful to have played with you Zak @ImZaheer great bowler great skill! Best wishes for the future,” former Test captain Anil Kumble said.

“Congrats @ImZaheer on an outstanding career. Was a pleasure playing with u.Will always cherish the gr8 time we had while playing for Ind. I am sure @ImZaheer will continue to contribute to Ind cricket especially in the development of young fast bowlers.#LEGEND,” V.V.S Laxman said.

“My go-to man. Perfect gentleman. Big Brother. And a legend in his own right. Good luck for your new innings @ImZaheer Wonderful to know u,” Suresh Raina tweeted.

“Congratulations @ImZaheer on an amazing career.terrific bowler but an even better friend.looking forward to some good times ahead,” Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer’s national and Mumbai teammate, tweeted.

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