Jharkhand spin stalwart Shahbaz Nadeem announces retirement from international, Indian domestic cricket

Nadeem, who held the world record of best bowling figures in an innings in List A cricket in a two-decade-long career for Jharkhand, made his Test debut against South Africa in 2019.

Published : Mar 05, 2024 20:21 IST , Kolkata - 4 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Indian spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.
FILE PHOTO: Indian spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. | Photo Credit: AP

FILE PHOTO: Indian spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. | Photo Credit: AP

Jharkhand left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who featured in two Tests for India, has announced his retirement from international cricket to try his luck in franchise-based leagues as he does not foresee opportunities in the national team.

The 34-year-old said it is better to pave the way for younger talent.

“I realise I can’t feature for Team India anymore, as I’m not in the selectors’ plans, and there is a pool of talented youngsters waiting for their chance,” Nadeem told  PTI from Dhanbad.

“I would have continued playing if there were opportunities for me in Team India... However, I don’t foresee any chances in the near future,” he said.

“Hence, I decided to retire from Indian cricket and try my luck in different leagues,” added the bowler, who will be seen in action in the upcoming Legends League Cricket in Sri Lanka.

Nadeem, who held the world record of best bowling figures (8/10) in an innings in List A cricket in a two-decade long career for Jharkhand, was handed a surprise Test debut against South Africa at his home venue of JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi in 2019.

“I felt this is the correct time, and there is no point holding a place in a state team for individual records. It’s better to give a chance to the youngsters.” The lucky Test break that he got was thanks to an injury sustained by Kuldeep Yadav at that time. The Virat Kohli-led side had brought him in less than 24 hours before the third Test against the Proteas after Kuldeep complained of a shoulder niggle.

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Nadeem was relaxing in his flat in Kolkata after playing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Karnataka when he got the debut call.

He flew to Ranchi and the next morning he was handed the “No 296” India Test cap by Kohli.

“I still cherish the moment and remember everything vividly. It was the best day of my life to debut in front of my home fans,” he turned emotional while remembering the momentous day of October 19.

Nadeem returned with a match haul of 4/40 which included the wicket of Temba Bavuma in the first innings. India won the third Test by an innings and 202 runs.

The Jharkhand spinner had to wait for two years for his next Test which happened to be his last -- against England in Chennai in 2021.

“I’ve no regrets but as any other fellow cricketer I would have liked to play a few more Tests, then it would have been great for me,” said Nadeem who has eight wickets from two Tests.

Nadeem hogged the limelight in the 2018-19 season when he grabbed a world record 8/10 from his quota of 10 overs as Rajasthan folded for 73 in 28.3 overs in a Vijay Hazare Trophy league match in Chennai.

Jharkhand went on to win the match by seven wickets.

Nadeem had joined the state team on the eve of the match, flying straight from Dubai where he was assisting Team India in the Asia Cup as a net bowler.

“There was moisture in the wicket. I just kept hitting the right areas and also got some help from the wicket en route to the feat,” he said.

He was the top wicket-taker with 24 to his name at 13.04 from nine matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy that season.

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In List A cricket, he ended up with 175 wickets from 134 matches.

He featured in 72 matches for Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.

Notably, he caught everyone’s attention during the 2012 season, where he delivered a standout performance, securing figures of 2/16 while bowling in the powerplay as Delhi Daredevils bowled out Mumbai Indians for a mere 92 runs.

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