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Praveen Kumar shares an emotional message after announcing retirement

The pacer bowled India to a CB series victory in Australia in 2008 which was one of his most memorable performances.

Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India pacer Praveen Kumar today announced retirement from all forms of cricket. The veteran bowler had debuted for India in November 2007. The 32-year-old, who last donned the blue jersey in 2012, revealed that he will only turn out for ONGC in company cricket, and will shift his attention towards a career in coaching.

Born in Meerut, Praveen made 84 international appearances since his debut in an ODI against Pakistan in 20007. Despite his natural ability to swing the ball and his knack of picking wickets, he was able to represent India in the longest format only 6 times. However, during the span of his Test career, he picked up 27 wickets at a healthy average of 25.81.

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He enjoyed a particularly successful series against England back in 2011, although India were battered 0-4 in the series. However, Praveen was mysteriously left out of the Test side thereafter and never got another opportunity to don the whites.

Highlights of Praveen’s international career

Some of his most memorable performances for India came in the 50-overs format. Kumar played 68 ODIs for India, and picked up a total of 77 wickets, with career-best figures of 4 for 31. He claimed a four-wicket haul in the second final of the 2008 CB Series against the Australians, bowling India to a rare but emphatic series win Down Under.

His ability to provide early breakthroughs with the new white ball carried him all the way to the provisional World Cup squad of 2011. But unfortunately for the bowler, he was struck down with a dengue illness which denied him participation in the tournament that India eventually won. Praveen’s last appearance in an international match came in a one-off T20I against South Africa in March 2012.

“Speaking to the Indian Express, Praveen Kumar said, “I have decided to retire from cricket. The decision is not taken in haste, I gave a thought over it and I felt it was a right time to say goodbye to the sport which gave me so much. I want to thank my family, BCCI, UPCA, Rajeev (Shukla) sir for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams.”

He also took to Twitter to announce, “its been a great jounery. Its been a great life. With a heavy heart I want to say gud bye to my 1st love #CricketMeriJaan But the test cap no 268 nd ODI 170 will be mine till indian cricket era will continue… Thankyou @BCCI nd @UPCACricket for helping me to live up my dream.”

He continued to ply his trade in the domestic circuit with Uttar Pradesh, for whom he made his debut during their Ranji Trophy-winning season of 2005-06. He claimed 90 wickets from his first two first-class seasons, which instantly catapulted him into the national side.

After chances at the national level dried out, he took up mentoring responsibilities with his stateside and even captained them in a number of games between 2014 and 2016. The veteran finishes his List A career with 267 wickets at an average of 23.61.

In the IPL, Praveen has represented the Kings XI Punjab, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Gujarat Lions and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He also claimed a hat-trick for RCB during the 2010 edition of the tournament.

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