Zak retires: Cricket fraternity pour in their respects on twitter

New Delhi: Iconic Sachin Tendulkar and limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni yesterday led the bandwagon of former and current cricketers praising Zaheer Khan, who ended his international career yesterday.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

The 37-year-old Zaheer decided to call time on his international career with immediate effect but will be bidding adieu to the domestic circuit at the end IPL's season 9 next year.

"One of the coolest pace bowlers I know. He was a bowler who could 'out think' the batsman most of the times. Always up for a challenge...I am sure he will do well as he begins a new chapter in his life. Wishing @ImZaheer all success in his retired life," Tendulkar tweeted.

India's limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said it would have been tough to make the side successful without the pacer's presence in the dressing room. "Well done ZAK on a fantastic career.without U it wd hve been very difficult to achieve what the ICT did.most clever fast bowler I know...Life has just started now,U still can and definitely will contribute a lot to Indian Cricket.wish U all the success," he tweeted.

Also lauding the pacer was Test captain Virat Kohli, who called Zaheer an inspiration. "To a great fast bowler & an even greater person, I wish you luck in all future endeavours @ImZaheer bhai. You have inspired many like me," he said. Zaheer's teammates Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh also tweeted their good wishes for the bowler.
"My go-to man. Perfect gentleman. Big Brother.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who is always credited for backing Zaheer in the early part of his career, said that the left-arm pacer took the right decision. "He had called me this morning. He will play IPL. He's 37 and it's not a surprise. He was a great bowler for India. It's absolutely right decision. I don't think they would have picked him, so he had to go," said Ganguly.

Zaheer's friend and one-time colleague Harbhajan Singh also wished the "fighter" on his retirement. "He will do well if you give him opportunities, he's a fighter," said Bhajji. "What a bowler mr khan and supper dildar yar. God bless you my brother. Love you zakiiiiiiiii @ImZaheer @BCCI," added Harbhajan.

And a legend in his own right. Good luck for your new innings @ImZaheer Wonderful to know u," said Raina

Former batsman VVS Laxman said he felt honoured to have been a part of the side, which had Zaheer."Congrats @ImZaheer on an outstanding career. Was a pleasure playing with u.Will always cherish the gr8 time we had while playing for Ind???," he said.

Former India pacer Irfan Pathan said, "Congratulations 4 great career Khan Saab @ImZaheer I'm sure there is lot in u 2 give back 2 Indian cricket in the future. #legend."

Zaheer's Mumbai Indians teammate Rohit Sharma said he 'enjoyed every spell' bowled by the seamer. "Enjoyed every spell u've bowled whether it's from slips or on TV! Great competitor, super human & most importantly a great friend. Happy retirement @ImZaheer," he tweeted.

Calling him a 'king' and his 'favorite', South African pacer Dale Steyn tweeted, "Zak ur a king Bud! Loved playing with and against u! Congrats on a marvelous career, always a favorite of mine!"

Kris Srikkanth, Chairman of Selection Committee when India won the World Cup in 2011 where Zaheer was a key member, applauded his contribution to Indian cricket. "Hi Zak ur contribution to INDIAN CRICKET has been fantastic. good luck on ur retirement @ImZaheer," he tweeted.

Tributes also came in from other sportspersons other than cricketers with doubles Badminton star Jwala Gutta congratulating the left-armer for a 'fantastic career'. "Congratulations on a fantastic cricketing career @ImZaheer and good luck for your future ahead," she said.

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