Former India batsman, Mohammad Kaif, has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect.
Kaif, 37, played 13 Tests and 125 ODIs for India and was a first-class giant, with over 10000 runs playing for Uttar Pradesh, Andhra and Chhattisgarh. Kaif’s crowning glory was his match-winning knock of 87 at Lord’s, helping India to a fantastic come-from-behind win in the Natwest trophy in 2002.
“I’m writing to you today to announce my retirement from all forms of first-class cricket,” Kaif intimated acting president CK Khanna and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary in an email, according to PTI.
Having etched his name in cricket history with the Natwest Trophy win, Kaif chose the very same day – 16 years later – to hang up his boots.
“I am retiring today as it’s been 16 years since the historic NatWest Trophy win in which I was glad to play my part, and I’d like to remember that as I bow out,” he wrote. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have worn the India cap, and to have gone on to play 125 ODIs and 13 Tests for India, and for several other moments.”
Kaif burst onto the spotlight after leading India’s Under 19 team to World Cup glory in 2000. An India call-up followed soon after. His stint in the Indian team was highlighted by the Natwest triumph, but he also shone in the Champions Trophy soon after, in the Nagpur Test against England and then went on to score his maiden Test hundred against West Indies.
Kaif’s last Test came against the same opposition, while his final ODI was against South Africa later in 2006.
Having lost his place in the Indian squad, Kaif continued to feature regularly in domestic cricket, with Uttar Pradesh, and in the IPL, with Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kaif also delved into politics later in his career and is now a regular face as a cricket expert and commentator. He, however, refused to reveal what the future held for him, saying that he will now use the chance to spend time with his two children – Kabir and Eva.