I didn't ask for farewell match: Nehra

I didn't ask for farewell match: Nehra

I didn't ask for farewell match: Nehra

As Ashish Nehra's 19 years old journey drew to a close, the straight-talking left-arm seamer revealed that he never asked the selectors for a farewell match.

In a press conference that lasted 27 minutes, the 38-year-old said he was leaving on his terms and not with the permission of selectors.

"I heard this (MSK in a press conference had told Nehra that New Zealand series be his last). I don't know. The chairman of selection committee has not spoken to me about this. I can only tell you about my interaction with the team management. When I reached Ranchi, I told Virat about my plan, and his first reaction was, 'Are you sure? You can still play IPL. You can play as coach-cum-player.' I said no. 'I am retiring completely'," Nehra told reporters after India beat New Zealand by 53 runs here on Wednesday.

"Luckily this game happened to be in Delhi. I have not asked for a farewell game or anything. This is perhaps one way that God has rewarded me for all the hard work I have put in over the last 10 years. I hope Virat and coach Ravi Shastri are part of team management because those are the people I spoke to. I have not spoken to any selector over this issue.

"When I started playing cricket, I didn't take any selector's permission. When I am leaving, I am not leaving with their permission."

Nehra believed Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ready and said he didn't want to block his progress.

"A lot of people have been saying that Ashish Nehra didn't play in the XI against Australia. My thought was that when I went there, I went with my retirement plan. I felt that Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ready. If you had seen earlier, I and Bumrah have been playing. Two spinners play, and the third fast bowler is Hardik Pandya. So Bhuvi misses out. After this year's IPL, I personally felt that this is the way forward, that as a bowler I will not like to keep playing at the expense of Bhuvi," he said,

Nehra, known for his comebacks, however, was content. The lanky seamer, who went through 12 surgeries in his career, said his body will, at last, be at peace.

"I will miss all this. That's what you train for. One thing which will definitely be at peace will be my body. I consider myself very fortunate that I have got the opportunity to bow out on my home-ground. It's better to leave when you're on top. As a fast bowler, I consider myself lucky that at 38 I'm leaving the Indian dressing-room in a blue jersey," he said.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was humble in defeat. "We were outplayed in all the areas, fielding included, which is something we pride ourselves on and something we need to be much better at in Twenty20 cricket. That made the difference as we saw today that proved to be vital in a lot of ways. Guys went on to score big scores for their side in the Indian team and 200 on that surface was a very big total."