Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha announced retirement from international and First Class cricket on Friday.
The 33-year-old, who played his last Test in November 2013 in Mumbai which was also Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell match, said in a statement that representing the country at the highest level was a dream he had cherished as a youngster.
“I am at a loss for words to describe how fortunate I have been to have lived my dream and earned the love and respect of my fellow countrymen.
“For a sportsperson there cannot be a better reward,” he said.
Ojha thanked the Hyderabad Cricket Association and the BCCI for giving him the platform to “showcase my talent”.
He also expressed special thanks to several players, including V.V.S. Laxman, Venkatapathi Raju, M.S. Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary and Saurav Ganguly to name a few who were “so supportive to my cause,” he told The Hindu on Friday.
“I feel the most memorable moments were when I got the India Test cap for I believe Test cricket is the ultimate format,” he said.
“And, in terms of winning for the country the other moment was when I returned a seven-wicket haul in the Test against Sri Lanka there when I played because Harbhajan Singh was taken ill,” Ojha recalled.
“Another unforgettable moment was the farewell Test for the great Sachin Tendulkar.
“It was a truly emotional match for many reasons and I am fortunate to have soaked in that kind of atmosphere,” he said.
Interestingly, Sachin tweeted on Ojha’s retirement “it was always great to see your big heart & skill at work. You made my last Test special by picking up 10 wickets. Welcome to the second innings club, my friend!”
“The IPL stints with Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians have always been special and again all these things would not have been possible but for Vijaya Paul’s coaching,” Ojha said.
Any regrets? “Frankly, none. I always enjoyed the way things have gone for me. Right now, I am doing TV commentary and see how things shape up.
“But, I look back with a lot of contentment for sure,” he concluded.