Veteran Indian pacer, Ashish Nehra, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Thursday. The left-arm seamer, who consistently struggled with injuries, decided that it was time to move on and hand over the baton to the young guns of Indian cricket and his final match will be at his home ground in Delhi where India will clash against New Zealand in the first T20I of the three-match series.
Looking back at his distinguished career, Nehra has made several defining moments. But one spell that always stands out is his 6 for 23 against England in the ICC World Cup (2003). Considering that the winner of the match would go on to qualify for the next round, Nehra’s magical spell assumes even more significance.
Set for a tricky target of 251, England began amicably. Nehra, who had remained wicketless before the match, gave India the momentum by dismissing skipper Naseer Hussain. In the very next delivery, he dismissed Alec Stewart. After that, he also went on to dismiss Michael Vaughan Paul Collingwood. This tilted the match in India’s favour as half the English side was back in the hut. Any chance of a recovery was dealt a hammer blow when Nehra came back to dismiss Craig White and then took the sixth wicket by scalping Ronnie Irani.
Deservedly Nehra was awarded the man of the match. His figures of 6/23 still remain as the best bowling figures by an Indian bowler in World cup history. Another interesting fact is that Nehra is the only Indian bowler to take 2 six-wicket hauls in a career. The wiry pacer’s spell at Kingsmead, Durban will surely be remembered for a long time even after he is long gone.