Ashish Nehra’s 18-year career came to an end on Wednesday following the first T20 between India and New Zealand in Delhi. Played at the Feroz Shah Kotla – same venue where Nehra played his first Ranji Trophy game – the left arm seamer didn’t add to his wickets column but was richly honoured and appreciated for contribution to Indian cricket.
After the contest, skipper Virat Kohli praised Nehra for his resilience and never-say-die attitude despite suffering from numerous injuries and undergoing surgeries to combat them. The 38-year-old received a farewell lap of honour after India’s 53-run win to take a 1-0 lead in the three match series and also took pictures alongside teammates and family members.
There was reportedly a closed-door party after the contest which involved cake and the members of the Indian cricket team – all bidding adieu to Nehra who began his career in Ranji in 1997. An MS Dhoni and Kohli fan Twitter account has uploaded a video from the farewell do with Nehra’s face covered in cake and the seamer feeding the skipper some cake.
Among the attendees it can be clearly seen is Virender Sehwag – who is long time friends with Nehra. They had played their early years for the Delhi state team together.
Nehra ended his career in dramatic fashion – by bowling the final over of the innings. But there was little challenge as India were already in comfortable place by then and assured of the win. In the post-match presentation, Nehra stated he might have bowled the most number of final overs for India. “I must be one bowler who bowled the most number of last overs for India, but it was different sort of pressure and today was much more comfortable. Virat was on my case for the last 2-3 overs and I said I will bowl the last over,” he said.