Abu Nechim - a former under-19 World Cupper and Assam’s first representative in the Indian Premier League before Riyan Parag broke into the scene - has announced retirement from all forms of the game.
As a budding medium pacer, Nechim guided India to victory against England in the U-19 World Cup semifinal in 2006 in Sri Lanka, claiming four wickets for 14. He also had match-winning figures of 6 for 9 in the final of a tri-nation series against Bangladesh.
Consistent performances at the local level not only earned him a spot in the Assam senior team but he was also signed by IPL franchise Mumbai Indians in 2010, where he stayed for four seasons before switching to Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014.
He was part of the IPL-winning team with Mumbai Indians in 2013 and was the 12th man in the team which went on to beat Chennai Super Kings in the final. Though he featured in only two matches that whole season, Nechim has fond memories.
“Meeting Sachin Tendulkar sir during the IPL for the first time in 2010 and to be able to share the dressing room with him was the biggest highlight of my career. I will cherish those moments,” Nechim told Sportstar.
In the IPL, Nechim claimed 12 wickets from 17 IPL games at an economy rate of 8.69, while his wicket tally is at 172 in first-class cricket, 65 in List A and 78 in T20s. The 34-year-old shifted to Nagaland last season and guided the team to the elite group, claiming five wickets in the curtailed Ranji Trophy last season.
However, he was not part of any teams this time. “I decided to move on from the game to make way for youngsters. I had my moments of being under the sun and now I feel that it is better to ensure that youngsters get enough chances,” Nechim said.
“I have enjoyed bowling in pata wickets (flat decks). I always took up the challenges of bowling on such surfaces. I have fond memories of playing for India at the U-19 level and then also in the IPL. So, when I look back at my playing days, I feel happy and satisfied…”
Ideally, he would have wanted to bow out from the circuit, donning the Assam jersey for one final time, but that did not happen. “It would have been wonderful had I played my last game for Assam, but of course, things don’t always go your way. Assam currently has a bunch of really talented players, who can take the team forward and I wish them all the luck…”
For now, Nechim wants to spend more time with his family and work with the youngsters at his academy. But going forward, he is open to working with Assam or any other domestic teams as a coach.
A soft-spoken fast bowler, Nechim never bragged about his performance and true to his nature, he bowed out of the game silently.