Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif (Credits: Twitter)

Former Indian batsman, Mohammad Kaif’s innings of 87 against England at the Natwest Series final of 2002 at the Lord’s, was perhaps the most significant innings of his career. It was not only a turning point for Mohammad Kaif but the Indian team too, who played a rather fearless brand of cricket from thereon. And Kaif has revealed the reason behind his retirement date of the 13th of July 2018.

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While Mohammad Kaif made an unbeaten 87 in a two-wicket victory over the Englishmen, credit goes to Yuvraj Singh too. After India succumbed to 143-5 in the 24th over, Kaif and Yuvraj joined hands to stitch a 121-run stand to bring the tourists back into the game. After Yuvraj perished in the 42nd over, Kaif hung around and scripted a famous win alongside the tailenders.

Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif (Credits – Twitter)

Apparently, the 13th of July was when the famous clash at the Lord’s took place, which Kaif cited to have changed his life. Hence, to make that day memorable, the right-handed batsman announced to hang up his boots two years ago on the same day.

“July 13 will always be close to my heart. It changed my life. I wanted to make that day memorable, so I announced my retirement on July 13, 2018. It will always remain a special day for me,” Mohammad Kaif said.

The 39-year old conceded that it was an entirely unfamiliar situation for him out in the middle. Kaif mentioned that back then, India was one of those teams, who played good enough to reach the finals but missed out on lifting the crown. Hence, Sourav Ganguly’s men wanted to get that monkey off their back.

“It was a completely new situation for me. I hadn’t faced something like that before, where you were playing a crucial final. Back then, there was a trend that India would qualify for the final but would eventually miss out on the title. It appeared that we were the best team till the final, but somehow things would go incredibly wrong in the last hurdle, so we were desperate to break the jinx,” Kaif, who played 13 Tests and 125 ODIs, stated as quoted by India Today.

Those were the days when anything above 300 looked like an uphill task: Mohammad Kaif

Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif (Photo-Newsd)

Mohammad Kaif further stated that they had plenty of discussions on how to outplay the English team in their backyard. However, the plans did not fall in place as England posted a daunting 325, headlined by centuries from Marcus Trescothick and skipper Nasser Hussain. Moreover, the Uttar Pradesh-born said that anything beyond 300 was very challenging those days and the camp already sensed failure.

“Ahead of the final, there were a lot of discussions on how to tame the home team. But in the end, all that meant very little as England posted a mammoth 325. Those were the days when anything above 300 looked like an uphill task. So, as England piled on the runs, the Indian camp looked dejected and we knew that we failed to get the monkey off our back. After all, who would have thought that we could script a turnaround!” he added.

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