Javagal Srinath retired from cricket after the 2003 World Cup(Getty Images)
Javagal Srinath retired from cricket after the 2003 World Cup(Getty Images)

‘Could have probably played for another year’: Why Javagal Srinath made the decision to retire

Srinath revealed that even though there was a part of him that felt he could have gone on for another year, the physical limitations of his body did not allow it to happen.
By hindustantimes.com | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 21, 2020 09:32 PM IST

One of India’s fast bowling pioneers, Javagal Srinath retired from all forms of cricket following the high of the 2003 World Cup, where he grabbed 16 wickets from 11 games. Srinath, who picked up 315 ODI and 236 Test wickets, revealed that even though there was a part of him that felt he could have gone on for another year, the physical limitations of his body did not allow it to happen.

“My hands and knees had gone down. At that time, Zaheer and Ashish were there. When I used to play, only one of them used to get a chance. I also went through the same phase before when Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar were there,” Srinath said on Star Sports’ new show Diggajara Danthakathe.

“Sometimes on the pitch, if there are only two fast bowlers, it used to become difficult. And I found it difficult to bowl on India pitches. I was already 33 at that time. I could probably play for another year, but my knees made it difficult.”

In the last few series of his career, Srinath played mentor to the likes of Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, who back then were finding their feet at the international level. He felt it was important to allow both of them to play together and thrive in order for India to have a fierce fast bowling opening combination, a privilege Srinath did not enjoy much during the peak of his career in the mid-1990s.

“There should have been another two to three players consistently with us. Venky [Venkatesh Prasad] was there for five to six years. But others kept changing. When that happens, the bowling team dynamics will be missing,” Srinath said.

“We build strategy on our strengths. But that became difficult because of the changes. Later on, Zaheer and Ashish came, and ramped up quickly. At that time, we were able to produce results. Spinners Anil and Harbhajan formed a terrific pair together. Fast bowling used to miss that a lot.”

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