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Zaheer calls time on international cricket career

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Mumbai: Left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan announced his retirement from international cricket on Thursday.

The 37-year-old ended his 14-year long international career due to a series of injuries, the latest being a shoulder complaint. He made his India debut in 2000 and played his last game for the country in 2014 at Wellington against New Zealand.

He is leaving the stage after playing in 92 Tests and 200 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), picking up 282 and 311 wickets, respectively. He will however call time on his domestic career after the conclusion on the 2016 Indian Premier league (IPL 9).

Zaheer was the joint highest wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup along with Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, claiming 21 wickets at 18.76.

“With immediate effect, I bid adieu to my career in international cricket. I look forward to signing off my last season in domestic cricket at the conclusion of Indian Premier League season 9,’ Zaheer wrote in a statement on Thursday.

“As I was training for the upcoming season, it dawned on me that my shoulder may not last the rigours of bowling nearly eighteen overs a day, and that’s when I knew it was time….”

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) paid rich tributes to the fast bowler.

“The BCCI appreciates Zaheer Khan’s outstanding service to Indian Cricket. He served Indian cricket with remarkable passion and commitment. Being a fast bowler in the Indian sub continent is challenging but he led the bowling attack with distinction and contributed significantly to the success of Indian cricket. I wish him all the best for the future,” Shashank Manohar, BCCI president said in a statement on Thursday.

“Zaheer will go down as one of the finest fast bowler in the history of Indian cricket. He has been the leader of Indian fast bowlers in the last decade or so and of the best exponent of reverse swing in the country. He has been an outstanding role model on and off the field for Indian cricket. Zaheer has been of the key reasons for India’s success over the last fifteen years. I congratulate him on his wonderful career,” Anurag Thakur, BCCI secretary, said.

“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,” batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar said on Twitter.

(IANS)

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“Corruption Exists in all Fields and Cricket is No Exception”, Says Kabir Khan

According to Kabir, the ban of the team was not only shattering for the players but also for the fans

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"I think there is corruption in every profession... a grey area exists in every field, be it cricket, corporate, cinema…it is ultimately dependent on how an individual holds himself or herself", says Kabir Khan. Wikimedia

Filmmaker Kabir Khan, whose latest docu-drama titled “Roar of the Lion” revolves around the downfall of the Chennai Super Kings for match fixing, followed by their victorious comeback in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL), says that corruption exists in all fields and cricket is no exception.

Asked if young players get influenced by power and money that the IPL offers and get involved in match fixing, Kabir told IANS here: “I think there is corruption in every profession… a grey area exists in every field, be it cricket, corporate, cinema…it is ultimately dependent on how an individual holds himself or herself.”

“Of course in cricket, when players are starting at a young age for an obvious reason… with IPL when they get exposed to huge money, attention and celebrity status, it is easy to lose control and get carried away.”

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According to Kabir, the ban of the team was not only shattering for the players but also for the fans. Wikimedia

“Ultimately, more than an opportunity, it becomes more important how you are utilising the opportunity. If you conduct yourself right and stay focussed on your game, you will become a successful professional,” he added.

Many players earn celebrity status overnight thanks to the IPL.

Asked if becoming a celebrity cricketer is easier now, Kabir said: “I think becoming a celebrity itself is much easier these days. One can become a celebrity by writing a blog or travelling the world…but some get the fame of 15 minutes and some find a place in the history books…in their respective fields depending on their consistent contribution.”

“The IPL is, of course, one of the great platforms to find talent from the hinterland and they are getting the opportunity to play international cricket. But yes, unless your performance is consistent, you won’t be able to survive in the competition.”

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During the filming of the show, he interacted with some of the fans who had strong faith in CSK and said that the team will come back and again win the trophy. Wikimedia

The story of “Roar of the Lion” has already been reported by mainstream media.

Emphasising on the unique elements of the show, Kabir shared: “We have never seen Dhoni (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) opening up and talking about what he went through when the team got involved in the match fixing allegations and was banned for two years. During that time, Dhoni was completely silent.”

“Nobody knows how he dealt with the whole situation internally. I think that conversation makes the show different, makes it unique,” he added.

According to Kabir, the ban of the team was not only shattering for the players but also for the fans.

kabir khan
According to Kabir, the ban of the team was not only shattering for the players but also for the fans. Wikimedia

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During the filming of the show, he interacted with some of the fans who had strong faith in CSK and said that the team will come back and again win the trophy.

“When the team came back… since the age group of the players was above 30, the new team was ridiculed by the media and fans of other teams. They called CSK as ‘Chennai Senior Kings’, ‘buddhe ki fauj’ etc. Despite all that, when the team won the 2018 IPL, their victory was the answer to all the criticism. That is why it is an inspiring story that deserved to be told,” said the filmmaker, who is also making a movie on the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

“Roar of the Lion” is streaming on Hotstar. (IANS)