Shahbaz Nadeem retires from all forms of cricket in India

In a surprising turn for Indian cricket, veteran left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has declared the end of his journey in Indian cricket, opting for retirement from all formats within the country. The 34-year-old sportsman, who donned the national jersey in two Test matches, announced his intent to explore opportunities across the T20 leagues worldwide.

Reflecting on his career and the decision to retire, Nadeem expressed that the choice had been brewing for some time. He stated, “I was considering this decision for a long time and now I have decided to retire from all three formats. I always feel that if you have some motivation [to play for India], then you always keep pushing yourself to perform well. However, now I know that I may not get a chance in the Indian team and so, it is better I give a chance to the young cricketers. I am also planning to play in T20 leagues around the world.” His remarks highlighted not only a personal resolution but also a generous gesture towards the upcoming generation of cricketers.

The spinner’s legacy in the Indian domestic cricket circuit is formidable. Playing for Jharkhand, Nadeem appeared in an impressive tally of 140 first-class games since his inception in 2004 until his last match in the current season’s Ranji Trophy against Rajasthan. With 542 first-class wickets tucked under his belt, his track record is a testament to his prowess and consistency.

Despite his limited international exposure, featuring just twice for India in Tests—once in 2019 against South Africa in Ranchi and then in 2021 against England in Chennai—Nadeem’s domestic numbers speak for themselves. With a haul that includes 28 five-wicket innings, his best Test figures stood at 2/18. Still, it was his domestic success that made him a notable figure in cricketing circles.

Nadeem also shared insights about his decision-making process, underscoring his emotional detachment when making crucial life choices. He recalled his long-standing involvement with the Jharkhand team, “I have been playing with the Jharkhand team for 20 years. Even though we have not been able to win the Ranji Trophy, we have made a strong team that makes the knockouts of the Ranji Trophy or other domestic tournaments every two-three years.” His pride in Jharkhand’s growth and respect within the cricket community was evident as he passed the torch to younger players, expressing confidence in their capacity to secure trophies ahead.

His career in the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw him being part of three franchises. Initially, he played for the Delhi Daredevils from 2011 to 2018. He was later recruited by the Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he remained from 2019 to 2021, before joining Lucknow Super Giants just before IPL 2022. Despite his vast experience, he did not participate in a match with LSG.

In a heartfelt acknowledgment, Nadeem extended gratitude towards his childhood coach, Imtiaz Hussain, crediting him for teaching the nuances of bowling and remaining a consultant to this day. He also highlighted the support of S Rahman from the Indigo Club, as well as the unwavering encouragement of his family throughout his enduring cricket journey.

Nadeem’s announcement marks the end of an era for the cricketer in Indian cricket, and the beginning of a new chapter as he aims to make his mark on international T20 leagues. With a substantial legacy in domestic cricket and a desire to chase new horizons, Shahbaz Nadeem’s presence on the cricket field, albeit in new territories, is sure to be keenly watched by fans and supporters of the sport.

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