New Delhi, July 14: Former India batsman, Mohammad Kaif announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on Friday, almost 12 years after he last played for the Indian team in which he stood out as much for his acrobatic fielding as for his effective lower-order batting.
The 37-year-old Kaif played 13 Tests and 125 ODIs for India and will always be remembered for his match-winning knock of 87 at the Lord’s during the epic NatWest Trophy final in 2002.
“I’m writing to you today to announce my retirement from all forms of first-class cricket,” Kaif intimated acting president CK Khanna and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary in an email, according to PTI.
Having etched his name in cricket history with the Natwest Trophy win, Kaif chose the very same day – 16 years later – to hang up his boots.
“I am retiring today as it’s been 16 years since the historic NatWest Trophy win in which I was glad to play my part, and I’d like to remember that as I bow out,” he wrote. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have worn the India cap, and to have gone on to play 125 ODIs and 13 Tests for India, and for several other moments.”
He played his last international game for India around 12 years ago, during the South Africa tour in 2006.
He even captained India’s U-19 team in their first-ever World Cup win in 2000.
Kaif also played in the domestic arena wherein he led his home team of Uttar Pradesh and helping them win their maiden Ranji Trophy title by beating Bengal in 2005-06.
An excellent batsman and an equally good fielder, Kaif finishes with 10,229 runs in 186 first-class matches at an average of 38.60.
He also led Chhattisgarh in their maiden Ranji Trophy season of 2016-17.
Post the retirement, Kaif hopes to be coaching and mentoring new talent since he has already served as assistant coach of Gujarat Lions team in the IPL and hopes to play a similar role in domestic cricket. Kaif is already a cricket analyst and a respected Hindi commentator.