Ajit Agarkar, whose finest moments were scoring an unbeaten century at the Lord’s Test in 2002 and a taking a match-winning second-innings six for 41 at Adelaide in 2003, announced his retirement from all forms of the game here on Wednesday.
His retirement was announced by both the Mumbai Cricket Association and the BCCI. The 35-year-old, who led Mumbai to its 40th Ranji Trophy triumph in the 2012-13 season, played 26 Tests and took 58 wickets at 47.33, and 191 ODIs and took 288 wickets at 27.85.
He did not meet with much success in Test cricket, but Australia’s coach John Buchannan picked him out as the best Indian seamer in the first Test India lost inside three days at the Wankhede stadium in 2001. Plagued by injury right through his career, Agarkar surprised batsmen with his ability to generate pace and swing, and getting nip off the wicket. He turned out to be exceptional whenever he turned out for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy competition.
Talking to The Hindu, Agarkar said: “I have been thinking about this (retirement) since the Ranji Trophy final. I pushed myself hard in the off season to get fit, but it was getting difficult.
“Some people told me to stretch it for one more year. I was in the (list of) Ranji probables, and they were probably going to name me captain too, but I did not want to play just for the sake of playing.”
Tests: Mat: 26, Wkts: 58, Average: 47.32, BB: Six for 41
ODIs: 191, 288, 27.85, Six for 42
Tests: Mat: 26, Runs: 571, Highest: 109 n.o., Average: 16.79
ODIs: 191, 1269, 95, 14.58