HP cricket captain retires from first class

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Shimla, Oct 17 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Ranji cricket team captain Virender Kumar Sharma has announced his retirement from international cricket, saying it was time to pass on the baton to the younger generation.

The 36-year-old right-handed batsman announced his retirement from first class cricket career spanning 50 matches, since his debut in 1990-91.

''I retire a very contended man. I always had a dream to win a championship and I achieved it last season.'' Himachal cricket team qualified for the Ranji Plate Division in 2001-02 under him for the first time in 2001-02 season and then again last time.

Lavishing praise on the HP Cricket Association president Anurag Thakur for improving the infrastructure in the state, he said though he was provided an opportunity to represent the state a little late in life, he enjoyed every part of it.

''I hope the youngsters coming through will make the most of it,'' he said.

However, he expressed his wish to continue his association with the game by turning to umpiring and cricket administration now.

''I have done my MBA and a course in sports management. Also I am a state-level umpire, so hopefully I will get to contribute further in either of these two spheres of the game,'' he added.

UNI

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