Hrishikesh Kanitkar retires from cricket, eyes coaching job

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New Delhi, July 2: Former India player Hrishikesh Kanitkar has finally called time on his cricket career to concentrate on coaching assignments in the near future.

The 40-year-old left-handed batsman and a part time off-spinner conveyed his decision to BCCI yesterday (July 1).

File photo: Hrishikesh Kanitkar during a Ranji Trophy match for Rajasthan against Bengal in 2012

Kanitkar, who represented India in 2 Tests and 34 ODIs in his three-year-long international career, will always be remembered for his match-winning four (scroll down for the video) against Saqlain Mushtaq in the side's memorable win over Pakistan at Dhaka in January 1998.

Finishing his career with Rajasthan - he last represented the state in December 2013 - the Pune-born player said that the fielding drills were the prime reason for his decision to call it quits.

"The passion for batting was still there but the motivation to be on the ground fielding for long stretches of time, even in a match, didn't really exist," Kanitkar was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.

"I didn't want fielding to be a formality. If I am not able to give as much as a youngster is giving in the field, then I shouldn't be pushing myself for a place in a side, so I took the call."

Despite losing his India berth in 2000, Kanitkar emerged as a doyen of domestic cricket. He ended his career as one of only three batsmen to have scored 8000-plus runs in the Ranji Trophy.

His 28 Ranji centuries are also joint third-highest in the tournament's history. He is also the only captain in the tournament's history to lift the Elite and Plate league titles.

Kanitkar led Rajasthan, the third domestic side he played for after his home team Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, to successive Ranji titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Eyeing a coach's role, Kanitkar has conducted a camp of the BCCI's east zone regional camp for under-19 cricketers.

"Coaching is something I am very keen on. If I get an opportunity to work with teams, it would be a great learning experience," he said.

"I will also be keen to work as a cricket analyst in the media. These are the two things are on my agenda. It's like after being a doctor for twenty years, you want to be a consultant after that. You can't just turn the back on something that you have loved all your life."

Watch Kanitkar's match-winning boundary

PTI

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