Abhishek Nayar retires from first class cricket

The 36-year-old Nayar, who played 99 first-class games for Mumbai before moving to Puducherry last season, said there was no ‘motivation left’ to continue.

On the occasion of his 100th first class appearance, Abhishek Nayar given a guard of honour by his Puducherry team-mates.   -  S.S. Kumar

Abhishek Nayar has retired from first-class cricket. The 36-year-old domestic stalwart, who played 99 first-class games for Mumbai before moving to Puducherry last season, said there was no ‘motivation left’ to continue.

“I have been thinking about this for a while. When you have no more opportunities of playing at the highest level, it is better that I make way for a young cricketer. There is no point in staying back,” Nayar told Sportstar.

Nayar, who is regarded highly for helping out a lot of cricketers -- including Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma -- now plans to focus on coaching. “That’s something I have been doing for a while and I want to focus on coaching assignments now,” Nayar, who is now associated with the Kolkata Knight Riders’ academy, said.

A left-handed batsman and a seam bowler, Nayar was dropped during the 2017-18 season by Mumbai. He then moved to Puducherry last season and played four first-class games, and the highlight of the campaign was a five-for against Sikkim.

Even though he broke into India’s ODI team in 2009, Nayar failed to cement his place and could only feature in three matches.

Since July last year, Nayar has been the lead coach and mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders academy in Bengaluru. This season, he has been elevated as the assistant coach of KKR, with former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum being the head coach.