Ashish Nehra has stated that it was better for him to end his eighteen-year long career on a positive note when everyone thought he could have gone on for more. He also revealed his regret of missing two-three years of cricket in between where he could have produced good performances.
Ashish Nehra gave perhaps the longest interview of his career on Wednesday after the game against New Zealand, when the lanky Delhi bowled donned the blue India jersey for the last time in his career. A career spanning over eighteen years with innumerable injuries and surgeries, many thought that the man loved the game too much to part ways with it.
However, Nehra did it and in a magnificent fashion in front of his roaring home crowd in Delhi. His retirement news surprisingly came only days after he had said he could play for a few years more. His stats in IPL and limited-overs weren’t bad either. But, the experienced bowler believes one should bow out when one is in his top form.
“I have said this before in press conferences that it's better to go when everyone says you can play for six months or a year more. It's better to leave when you're on top. I would have completed 19 years in four months' time… This day will come eventually for everyone. The better you take it the better for you.” said Nehra.
Nehra’s international career, which includes four World Cups, has been marred by missed chances. Barring the 2003 World Cup, where he turned heads with mind-blowing displays, he hasn’t been the match to look up to. However, Nehra looked to be in a terrific form during the 2011 World Cup and it was a huge disappointment that selectors opted to go against picking him after the tournament.
“In 2009-10-11, I was playing T20s and ODIs like I said they wanted me to. I did whatever best I could do. If you see stats also, I was doing well. I am that sort of a guy, I never ask questions to team management or selectors. They didn't pick me, it was entirely their call. But as a cricketer, I always feel you keep working hard and pushing yourself. Somebody might not pick you for 1-2-3 years but if you are good your chance will come… Regret will be that those 3-4 years went bad because I personally felt that I could have delivered for the team.”
Nehra has played under three generations of captain- Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and now Virat Kohli. He has seen the
“Cricket is a kind of sport where it changes after every 8-10 years. I have been saying this for the last 20 years. Every team goes through a transition,” Nehra said.
“I still remember when I started from 2001 to around 2007-08 Australia was a team that you couldn't beat easily… I was feeling as a bowler that I am bowling well but Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting always seemed a step ahead of you… Every team goes through a transition. Sri Lanka and West Indies aren't the same as they used to be.”