Saurabh Tiwary bids adieu to professional cricket

In an announcement that marks the end of an era for Jharkhand cricket, the stalwart left-handed batter, Saurabh Tiwary, has decided to hang up his boots, retiring from all forms of the game. The U19 World Cup winner’s departure from the professional cricketing stage will be witnessed during his last foray on the field in the Ranji Trophy on February 15, playing for Jharkhand, the state he has so diligently served.

Tiwary, who has been a familiar face in the Indian Premier League (IPL), playing his final match in the glamorous tournament in 2021 for Mumbai Indians, shared his retirement decision during a heartfelt press conference. The echo of his words filled the surroundings at Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur as he said, “It’s a little tough to bid farewell to this journey that began even before I started schooling. But I am also sure that this is the right time for it. If you’re not part of the national team or IPL, it’s only fair to step aside and make way for the younger generation. I am heartened to see so many young talents rising in our Test team, and in light of this, my decision feels right.”

His voice solemn, yet reflective of a decision well-pondered over, Tiwary further emphasized that his retirement was not solely based on his personal performances. “Do look at my records in Ranji and the last domestic season. Questions about what my future holds are common, but for now, all I know is cricket, and I intend to stay connected to this game. I have even received offers from the political sphere, but that’s something I haven’t given thought to yet,” he added.

The farewell match against Rajasthan will close the chapter on Tiwary’s Ranji Trophy exploits, where his team, unfortunately, failed to carve a path to the quarterfinal this season, winning only one match.

As a seasoned veteran of 115 first-class matches, the 34-year-old’s cricketing journey bears the testimony of a sterling domestic career, amassing 8030 runs, inclusive of 22 centuries and 34 half-centuries, averaging an impressive 47.51. Notably, Tiwary tops the charts for scoring the most runs for Jharkhand, even surpassing the legendary MS Dhoni’s total of 7038 runs for the state.

His tryst with cricket took off spectacularly when he became a U19 World Cup champion and was soon after inducted into Virat Kohli’s batch of 2008. The trajectory of his career steeply ascended which led to an India debut in October 2010, following remarkable performances for Mumbai Indians as well as the Jharkhand state team earlier that year. However, the international stage saw him in the Indian jersey for just three ODI matches before his appearances for the country ceased.

On the energetically competitive grounds of the Indian Premier League, Tiwary donned the jerseys for four illustrious franchises: Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), and Rising Pune Supergiant. His bat spoke volumes through the runs he scored, 1494 in the IPL itself, and 3454 runs in the grand sum of his T20 career.

Tiwary’s professional journey through 17 years left an indelible mark on cricket. He consistently proved to be an asset for his home state, defiantly batting on frontiers where the likes of Dhoni have built their legacies.

As one of India’s promising talents transitions into this new post-cricket chapter, the cricketing world stands to applaud Saurabh Tiwary, a cricketer whose commitment to the sport has left a lasting impression on the pitches, and in the hearts of cricket fans and aspiring young players alike. The 15th of February will not just conclude Jharkhand’s Ranji Trophy campaign for the season but also bid an honorary adieu to Tiwary, an athlete who wielded his willow with resilience, passion, and unyielding dedication to the gentleman’s game.

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