On Friday (June 13), the hero of India’s NatWest Trophy victory 16 years ago, Mohammad Kaif called it quits from all forms of competitive cricket with an immediate effect.
After playing 125 One-dayInternationals for India and being a veteran of Uttar Pradesh finally decided to retire from the game. He was one of the best fielders in the world during his heydays and grabbed several exceptional catches that are regarded as some of the very best in international cricket.
He made his mark for India on this day itself just 16 years ago. Playing the Natwest Trophy final at the iconic Lord’s, two youngsters Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif produced a thrilling display of batsmanship which helped India win the series from the jaws of defeat.
It was a great batting performance by the duo which saw them chase down a mammoth target of 326 in their allotted 50 overs.
The right-handed batsman Kaif remained unbeaten on 87 off just 75 deliveries which included six fours and a couple of big sixes. He remained unbeaten till the end which ensured India reached the target with a couple of deliveries to spare.
However, it was indeed a special moment for the Men in Blue. The victory is still etched in the memory of every Indian cricket lover who was a vivid cricketer lover during that time.
Kaif took the decision today because of a special reason:
Kaif took the decision to retire on July 13 for having a strong reason. He broke into the scene on the same day 16 years ago and retired on the same day 16 years later. His ground fielding and catches were something the Indian players always admired.
Kaif was one of the fittest players going around and played a major part for Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy leg. He also led UP to their maiden Ranji Trophy title.
Kaif took to his Twitter handle and shared a letter where he thanked his fans, friends, well-wishers, and family.
“When I started playing Cricket, the dream was to play in the India Cap one day. Have been very fortunate to step on to the field & represent my country on 190 days of my life. Today is an apt day for me to announce my retirement from all competitive Cricket. Thank you, everyone,” Kaif wrote.
When I started playing Cricket,the dream was to play in the India Cap one day.Have been very fortunate to step on to the field & represent my country on 190 days of my life. Today is an apt day for me to announce my retirement from all competetive Cricket. Thank you everyone 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/HzKZDWgXBo
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) July 13, 2018
13-07-02 a new era of Indian power cricket began.
13-07-18 the hero of that game retires.
Thanks @MohammadKaif for being a great friend and a loyal lover of this game which connects us all.
Wishing you all the happiness and success in life ahead.
Bhai shab 😘 pic.twitter.com/UvQke0lYam
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) July 13, 2018
His one-time teammate Harbhajan Singh congratulated Mohammad Kaif on a wonderful career.
“13-07-02 a new era of Indian power cricket began. 13-07-18 the hero of that game retires. Thanks, @MohammadKaif for being a great friend and a loyal lover of this game which connects us all. Wishing you all the happiness and success in life ahead. Good luck. Bhai shab,” Bhajji wrote.