This is a bittersweet post. After almost 15 years in which cricket has been the central theme of my life, I have decided to retire from BCCI domestic cricket.
At the outset, I would like to use this post to sincerely thank everyone who has been a part of my journey. From coaches, trainers, physios, fellow teammates, captains I have played under, administrators and selectors, thank you all. To my employers and sponsors BAS, thank you for the continued support.
Representing India and Maharashtra has been an honour, and looking back, I cherish every occasion I got to wear my country and state cap. The experience has helped make me the person I am, and for this and much else, I am sincerely grateful.
|Drained after one of the many Maharashtra training sessions.|
|My first India Blazer|
We try to play cricket like it is life-or death. We try to prepare like there's nothing else. We leave our homes, families, friends, comfort zones all behind, and chase leather like there's no tomorrow. But at the end of the day, we are taught to maintain perspective, be grateful, and remember that it is just a game. At the end of the spectrum, looking back, I can see how that statement stands true and false at the same time.
True, because it is just a game. there are always more important things in life. A country at war, a relative fighting disease, a friend struggling with the loss of a loved one . We cricketers are incredibly fortunate to get to spend our days playing the game we love, often earning our livelihoods from it. As a player who has just lost a close emotionally draining game, its important to reflect on such things, and not let yourself be bogged down by the weight of defeat. It is just a game after all.
False, because it is so much more. It is a family, within a dormitory, or a team bus, or a hotel terrace. It is a place we explore ourselves, often find ourselves, and even more often lose ourselves again. It is rivalry and friendship existing seamlessly in the same relationship. It is the ultimate learning process. It is said when the student is ready, the teacher shall appear. Thus cricket teaches so little to some people, and so much to others.
|With my inspiration, Jhulan Goswami, on my first tour.|
|At the Chinnaswamy, a ground that housed many a camp and many a memory.|
It is this that I will leave behind. It weighs on my heart, but hey, it's just a game remember?
|One of my favourite memories, beating the Railways in a Super Over in Pune.|
Life offers few such experiences that give us so much, and I will always be on the look out for new ones. There are a number of things that I want to devote my time to in this second innings of sorts. Who knows. Perhaps 15 years later, I will write about something else that has given me so much. Perhaps not.
|Cricket has given me a chance to see some tremendous beauty.|
|At the SCG. After India, Australia is my favourite country.|
Looking forward to where life takes me.