Ramesh Powar decided to retire from international cricket with immediate effect and will quit playing domestic cricket after finishing his stint with Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy.
UP skipper Suresh Raina hugs Ramesh Powar at Wankhede yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
The stocky 37-year-old off-spinner would have retired from cricket much before had it not been for a surprise India call-up in 2008. Powar was in Vizag for a Ranji Trophy match for Mumbai in 2008 when he was asked to reach Kanpur before the final Test against South Africa to be a back-up for the injured Anil Kumble. However, India opted to play Piyush Chawla in that match.
Back in 2007...
"That gave me hope. I thought a couple of good performances from hereon could earn me a recall into the Indian team. It was an indication that I was on the selectors' radar. If that call wouldn't have come, I would have retired sooner," Powar, who last played for India in 2007, told mid-day yesterday.
Powar's classical flight and drifter were his main weapons to fetch wickets. After representing Mumbai for 14 years in first-class cricket, Powar decided to move to Rajasthan in 2013. The uncertainty in the Rajasthan Cricket Association forced Powar to look elsewhere and he was signed up for Gujarat in September last year.
"My body was not able to cope with the demands of four-day games. It was becoming tiring and I felt I should give up," said Powar, who played two Tests and 31 ODIs claiming six and 34 wickets respectively.
Powar announced that he has signed up for the Masters Champions League T20 tournament which will be played in UAE. "A lot of my former Mumbai colleagues are a part of it. I am excited to play with them again," said Powar. He is also looking to get into coaching from next season.
Number of wickets claimed by Ramesh Powar in 146 first-class matches
Matches - 146
Wickets - 470
Best bowling - 7/44
Average - 31.17
Econ rate - 3.02
Matches - 2
Wickets - 6
Best bowling - 3/33
Average - 19.66
Econ rate - 2.80
Matches - 31
Wickets - 34
Best bowling - 3/24
Average - 35.02
Econ rate - 4.65