Former India pacer Amit Bhandari retires from first-class cricket

Amit Bhandari during the VB Series ODI between India and Zimbabwe Getty Images

New Delhi: May 30, 2011

Former Delhi pacer Amit Bhandari announced his retirement from first-class cricket.

Bhandari who will soon be turning 33 played two ODIs for India taking five wickets. The lanky Bhandari however spearheaded the Delhi and North Zone attack for over a decade claiming 314 first-class wickets from 95 matches. He also played 105 List A matches taking 153 wickets in the process.

“I have had a shoulder surgery and when I shifted to Goa, I missed a whole season due to dengue. At the start of this season, I wasn’t being able to motivate myself. Therefore this is an ideal moment to call it quits,” Bhandari told PTI.

He did seemed a touch sad that he couldn’t make it to any of the IPL teams during the past four seasons.

“Even if you are out of national reckoning, you feel that IPL can keep you motivated as one competes with the best. I wasn’t finding anything specific that would keep me motivated. I wasn’t really enjoying the idea of playing anothet six or seven Ranji Trophy games. So it’s about time that I don’t block a junior’s place,” he added.

Having not played enough international cricket is something that hurts Bhandari even now.

“None of the coaches or captains ever told me that why I didn’t play enough despite taking lot of wickets. They talked about my lack of pace but then how many in India are tear away fast bowlers?” he questioned.

Ask him about his finest moment, he feels that getting his 300th first-class wicket at the Feroz Shah Kotla was “a memorable occasion.” So was his best figures of 7/92 in a Ranji match against Punjab in Amritsar.

Now that he has called time on his career, he will be concentrating on coaching.

“I would like to do all the NCA Level coaching starting from this year. I would definitely like to get involved into active coaching. There are a lot of subtle things about pace bowling that I still don’t know. Getting involved into active coaching would give me a chance to pass on some knowledge to the younger generations,” he concluded.