12 surgeries in 18 years career, ‘Ashish Nehra Ji’ plays last match in front of home crowd

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It doesn’t happen often that one gets to play in his last match for his country while bowling from the end that has been named after him. That’s precisely happened on Wednesday Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla ground, where Ashish Nehra, bid farewell to his international career in from of his home crowd.

Ashish Nehra

The Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) had named one of the playing ends at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium after the veteran seamer, also known as Nehra ji.

Only other cricketer, who had this honour was England paceman James Anderson, who also bowled from his own end.

‘Ashish Nehra End’ was written, for a day, on the first tier in the centre of the Ambedkar Stadium Stand.

In his career spanning over 18 years, Nehra has had 12 surgeries, took 157 ODI wickets. In 27 T20Is, Nehra has bagged 34 wickets. He played 17 Tests for India and claimed 44 wickets at an average of 42.40.

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Skipper Virat Kohli justified the farewell Nehra received before his home crowd. He recalled how in 2003, Nehra had given him an award when the Indian captain was just 13.

He said, “That was back in 2003 after he had come back from the World Cup. I was 13 then and struggling for a place in the school team.

“To have played 19 years is very hard for a fast bowler. I know how professional he’s been and how hard he’s worked. He deserved this kind of a farewell with the crowd cheering him. He can now spend time with his family, he’s got a beautiful family. We’ll stay in touch but we’ll miss him and I wish him all the best.”

In a video posted by BCCI, India cricketers Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik and Ajinkya Rahane spoke about Nehra and his career.

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Nehra’s career started with a Test match against Sri Lanka back in Colombo in 1999.

Nehra was part of the Sourav Ganguly-led team that reached the final of the 2003 World Cup, and his most memorable moment was also witnessed during the same tournament when he demolished England with a fine spell of 6/23.

He later went on to win the World Cup in 2011, under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy.

Kapil Dev said that every cricketer should be given the farewell Nehra received. “Every cricketer should be given a memorable warm send off like veteran pacer Ashish Nehra and should be told that you served the nation well,” says legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev.

At an event in the national capital, Kapil said, “The cricketer will feel honoured if given a send off similar to one being given to Ashish Nehra today.”

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