Ashish Nehra played his last international match for Indian cricket team at his home ground Feroz Shah Kotla on 1st November 2017. It was a packed house as Delhi crowd came out in numbers to support their hero and one of the best left-handed fast bowlers in Indian cricket history.
Ashish Nehra is not a legend of the game but he has a very special place in hearts of Indian cricket fans, and that is the biggest achievement for a sportsman who plays a team sport and represents his country at the international level.
Ashish Nehra’s career was always difficult because of injuries but his hard work and dedication made it possible for him to play almost 18 years of international cricket.
At the end of the match, Ashish Nehra spoke to Sanjay Manjrekar and shared his feeling after playing the last match of his international career. This is what he said:
“I will miss all this. That’s what you train for. One thing which will definitely be at peace will be my body. I said earlier that I can go a couple more years, but there can’t be a better time to walk away. I must be the one bowler who sent down the last over most number of times for India. But those times were different; there was no pressure today. The game has changed a lot since I started playing. I played my first game here in 1997,” Ashish Nehra said while talking to Sanjay Manjrekar after his last international match for India.
“The rules have changed and so many runs are being scored. But whatever happens, this team is here to stay. The future of Indian cricket is in safe hands for the next six-seven years. I have played under many different people, but it has been a memorable journey. I was telling Viru also this; he scored so many runs, but people still call him Multan ka Sultan, so you are remembered for a particular moment. At times, you pick up wickets off bad balls, but as a cricketer, you in front of a mirror need to realise how well you are playing and what you need to do.”
“There are so many people who asked me if I would have liked to play Test cricket. But you can see the glass as half-full or half-empty. I last played Test cricket when I was 24 or 25, but at the end, to have played for 18 years and to be here standing in blue clothing and to have played my final match, I could not have asked for anything more. I have no regrets. I am always happy, retired or otherwise.,” Ashish Nehra said.