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Had we got good coaches then, we could’ve developed further, says Ashish Nehra

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Had we got good coaches then, we could’ve developed further, says Ashish Nehra

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SportsCafe Desk


Ashish Nehra laments how fast bowlers during his time could have played much better and for long-term, had there been good coaches back then to help. The experienced man also shed the importance of allowing cricketers to take their family with them on tours, which BCCI has always been hesitant of.

India’s first T20I against New Zealand in Feroz Shah Kotla on Wednesday marks the end of Ashish Nehra’s cricketing career. And though not always the name one will take while reminiscing India’s most successful squads, the lanky fast bowler has had his moments in Indian colours which will remain unforgettable.

Despite staying on the cricket circuit for a long and tedious 18 years Nehra could play only 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 26 T20Is. His career was ruined by injuries and he needed to go under the knife, as many as twelve times. And Nehra laments that had there be good coaches when he, Zaheer Khan, and Ajit Agarkar played, they could have lasted longer and better.

In an interview with TOI, Nehra said, “We were all by ourselves. We learnt talking to each other. Had we got good coaches then, we could have developed further. I even think if I had trainers like the ones we have now, I could have avoided a lot of injuries."

“Today when I look back, I feel I could have played Tests. But I played on with chronic injuries in 2004-05 and that cost me a lot. We didn't have anyone to assess our injuries. The captain wanted me to play and I played on. That was the kind of bonding we had in that team.”

It has been famously said that very few individuals get to experience time and wisdom at the same time. The two virtues rarely overrun each other in a person’s life and Nehra spoke exactly of that.

“Today, I would love the mind of 38-year-old Nehra along with the body of the 22-year-old," he said.

Another glaring mention of this interview would be the importance of cricketers being allowed to have their families with them on tours. Taking a sly dig at BCCI, who has never allowed it to happen, Nehra said, “Cricketers are away from their families for much of the year. If Virat Kohli has a high-profile girlfriend, then it's not his problem. The problem is with the people.”

He continued, “Even during the World T20 in 2016, I wanted to have my family staying with me for the semifinal in Mumbai. I was asked to have them lodged in the adjacent hotel instead of having them in my room. This is something that needs to change.”   

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