Calcutta: Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar on Wednesday retired from all forms of cricket, bringing down the curtains on a 16-year long first-class career during which he played 26 Tests and 191 ODIs besides leading Mumbai to their 40th Ranji Trophy title last season.
Agarkar represented India from 1998 to 2007, taking 288 wickets in ODIs and 58 wickets in Tests. He was a member of the India team that won the inaugural ICC World T20 in South Africa in 2007.
In 1998, Agarkar created the then record of taking the fastest 50 wickets in ODIs, completing the tally in only his 23rd game.
On January 30 this year, Agarkar had told The Telegraph that he was undecided about his future. “Haven’t given it a thought… Depends on how my body copes with the longer version. Limited overs cricket and T20 is much easier on the body….” he said in an interview.
Agarkar helped India complete a historic win — their first Test match victory in Australia in 23 years — in Adelaide in 2003, with a second-innings six-wicket haul. Despite those infamous five Test ducks in a row against Australia in 1999-2000, Agarkar was also handy with the bat — he has a century at Lord’s to his name (109 not out), which he scored during India’s 2002 tour of England.
In ODIs, his highest individual score was 95 against the West Indies at Jamshedpur in 2002-03.
In all, Agarkar was part of eight Ranji Trophy winning sides. Agarkar was named Mumbai captain last year, following a small controversy. In November 2011, Agarkar had left the team in Cuttack as he was disappointed at not being picked in the XI for a match against Orissa.
He consequently withdrew from the squad for the entire 2011-12 Ranji season, before reconciling with the Mumbai association and taking charge for the domestic one-day competition, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, in Feburary 2012. Prior to the start of the following season, he was named captain as well.
Speaking about Agarkar’s retirement, BCCI president N. Srinivasan said in a release: “Ajit Agarkar served India with distinction for nearly a decade. On behalf of the BCCI, I congratulate him on a fine career, and wish him all the best for the future.”