Fast bowler Munaf Patel on Saturday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, citing age and his declining fitness as a reason behind this decision.
Munaf last played for India in a T20 international against England in Setpember, 2011. Overall, he represented India in 13 Tests, 70 ODIs and 3 T20Is since making his debut at Mohali on March 9, 2006.
“There is no regret; after all the cricketers I played with have retired. Only Dhoni is left! Baki sab done ho chuke hain. So, there is no sadness as such. Sabka time khatam ho chuka hain, ghum hota jab saare khel rahe hote aur mein retire kar raha hota (everyone’s time is up; there will be sadness only if others are playing and only I had quit!),” Munaf told Indian Express.
Even though he is retiring from the sport, Munaf still won’t be letting go of the sport and will take part in the upcoming T10 League in the UAE.
Munaf will represent the Rajput franchise in the league which will take place at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from November 21 to December 2.
“Mera mann aaj bhi nahi maan raha hai ke cricket chhodoon as I don’t know anything else. Cricket hi samaj mein aata hain. (I still can’t believe I am quitting cricket as I don’t know anything else. I understand only cricket,” Munaf said.
In 13 Tests Munaf took 35 wickets at an average of 38.54 with one four-wicket haul while in 70 ODIs he picked up 86 wickets at 30.26. He finally finished his international career with 4 T20I wickets.
“There is no special reason, age ho chuka hai, fitness is not the same. Youngsters are there waiting for chances and it doesn’t look nice if I keep hanging on. The main thing is there is no motivation left. I was part of World Cup winning team in 2011; there can’t be a greater high than that,” the 35-year-old added.
Munaf was also part of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning team and finished the tournament as the third-highest wicket-taker for the eventual champions, behind Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh.
“If it wasn’t for cricket, I would have been a worker, a labourer, in some company in Africa. Most Gujaratis from this region go there. Probably, I would have been cleaning and arranging tiles. I never thought I would go on playing cricket for so long,” Munaf said.