Inaugural World T20 final-hero Joginder Sharma bids adieu to cricket

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Joginder Sharma on Friday announced his retirement from all forms of international and domestic cricket, six years after having last played for Haryana. The all-rounder became immortal in Indian cricket in 2007 when he took the final scalp against Pakistan to secure the title for the team.

The hero of the ICC World T20 2007 final Joginder Sharma decided to hang up his boots at 39. The Rohtak-born player made his debut in the 2002/03 season and went on to represent his native Haryana for 15 years, last playing for them in a List-A encounter in March 2017. The announcement on Friday came on Twitter without any explanation as to what provoked it all of a sudden.

Sharma made waves with both the bat and the ball early in his career, his seam bowling becoming a major weapon in Haryana's arsenal. Two successful seasons on the trot earned the right-arm pacer an ODI debut against Bangladesh in 2004 albeit he failed to contribute much in the four ODis he played in his career. Nevertheless, Sharma continued to impress in domestic circles and was afforded another chance by the Men in Blue, this time at the inaugural World T20 in South Africa in 2007.

Even though Sharma ended up playing just four T20Is as well, he secured his legacy by dismissing Misbah-ul Haq in the final over of the World T20 final against Pakistan to earn India its first and only World T20 title to date. Incidentally, the cash was also the last time Sharma donned Indian colours. The triumph even earned Sharma a contract with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League where he took 12 wickets in six matches but at a horrific economy of 10-plus.

The all-rounder ended his career with 2,804 runs and 297 wickets in first-class cricket, averaging 24.81 and 21.09 respectively. He also took five wickets for India overall, of which only came in the 50-over format.

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