Zaheer Khan retires from international cricket

India’s greatest left-arm pacer calls time on his career with 92 Tests and 200 ODIs to his name.

Zaheer Khan's last international outing was against New Zealand in Wellington in February last year.   -  K. Murali Kumar

One of India’s greatest pace bowlers, Zaheer Khan, has called time on his international career. The 37-year old pacer made the announcement on Thursday, closing his 14-year long international career. Zaheer made his India debut in 2000 and played his last game for India in 2014 in Wellington against New Zealand.

President of the BCCI, Shashank Manohar complimented Zaheer on his wonderful career and said, “The BCCI appreciates Zaheer Khan’s outstanding service to Indian Cricket. He served Indian cricket with remarkable passion and commitment. Being a fast bowler in the Indian sub-continent is challenging but he led the bowling attack with distinction and contributed significantly to the success of Indian cricket .I wish him all the best for the future.”

Honorary Secretary of the BCCI, Anurag Thakur said, “Zaheer will go down as one of the finest fast bowler in the history of Indian cricket. He has been the leader of Indian fast bowlers in the last decade or so and of the best exponent of reverse swing in the country. He has been an outstanding role model on and off the field for Indian cricket. Zaheer has been of the key reasons for India’s success over the last 15 years. I congratulate him on his wonderful career.”

Since 2000, Zaheer played 200 ODIs and 92 Test matches in which he picked 282 and 311 wickets respectively. The highlight of Zaheer’s ODI career was the 2011 World Cup. He emerged as Indian team’s most lethal weapon and inspired Team India to the title of World Champions at home with 21 wickets at 18.76. He was the joint highest wicket-taker of the tournament with Shahid Afridi. On his final outing for India, the second Test against New Zealand in February 2014, Zaheer Khan claimed 5 for 170 – his 11th five-wicket haul in Test Cricket.