On Wednesday, 35-year-old Ajit Agarkar decided to call time on his cricketing career. For the pacer, who is the third highest wicket-taker for the country in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) with 288 scalps, it was a quiet stroll into sunset.
It is six years since Agarkar last donned national colours, and unlike his contemporaries, his retirement failed to catch the eye.
For Agarkar the player, a reason to attempt was imperative. The 2003 Adelaide Test personified situation. The doubts in the minds of critics on India’s ability to win abroad and Agarkar’s skill to succeed in Tests was reason enough to perform, which he did as his 6/41 acted the knockout blow against Australia.
Having led Mumbai to a Ranji Trophy triumph in 2012-13, and with any India comeback diminishing by the day, he could not find his raison d’etre on the field, 17 years since his first-class debut. “I’ve had a fantastic run with Mumbai. I’ve played a few games for India too. Winning the Ranji last year made my decision easier. I thought long and hard over it and have no regrets,” an emotional Agarkar told HT.
“I am realistic and I know I cannot make it to the India team, and that was one of the motivations to play on.”