Praveen Kumar, hailed as the original swing bowler from Meerut, has decided to retire from all forms of cricket with immediate effect. He will only play company cricket for ONGC after his retirement.
The right-arm pacer played 68 ODIs for India since his debut against Pakistan in 2007. He picked up 77 wickets at an average of 36.02 in these matches. He made his T20I debut shortly after and played 10 T20Is in total picking up eight wickets.
“I have decided to retire from cricket. The decision is not taken in haste, I gave a thought over it and I felt it was a right time to say goodbye to the sport which gave me so much. I want to thank my family, BCCI, UPCA, Rajeev (Shukla) sir for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams,” Kumar was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Praveen played only six Tests for India and picked up 27 wickets at an average of 25.81 including a five-for at Lord’s. The Meerut-born pacer played his domestic cricket for Uttar Pradesh.
The UP player was also part of the Indian squad for the ICC World Cup 2011 but was ruled out after picking up an injury.
“I have no regrets. Dil sey khela, dil sey bowling daala (I played and bowled with my heart). There are good bowlers waiting in the wings back in UP and I don’t want their careers to be affected. Mein kheloonga toh ek ka jagah jayega, (If I play, one spot would go); it’s important to think of other players’ future as well. My time is over and I have accepted it. I’m happy and thankful to god for giving me this chance,” Kumar said.
Praveen now wants to be a bowling coach and pass on his knowledge to younger kids.