New Delhi: Munaf Patel, now 35, has decided to retire from international cricket with an eye on becoming a coach in the not-too-distant future.
Patel, an express paceman when he started out, but later more of a line-and-length bowler following a series of injuries, played 86 times for India across formats between 2006 and 2011.
The biggest high in Patel’s career was being part of the Indian ICC Men’s World Cup 2011-winning side – he picked up 11 wickets in eight games then, with 4/48 against Bangladesh his best show. He also played all three games for India in their 2007 World Cup campaign in the West Indies, when the team bowed out in the first round.
“There is no regret; after all, the cricketers I played with have retired,” Patel told The Indian Express in an interview, referring to most of his contemporaries having finished up already. “Only (MS) Dhoni is left! So, there is no sadness as such. Everyone’s time is up; I would have been sad had others been playing and I had quit.”
Patel hails from little Ikhar in Gujarat, and apart from representing his state, has also played domestic cricket for Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat, and Indian Premier League cricket with Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Lions.
“There is no special reason (to retire). Age is not on my side, fitness is not the same. Youngsters are there waiting for chances and it doesn’t look nice if I keep hanging on,” he said. “The main thing is there is no motivation left. I was part of the World Cup-winning team in 2011; there can’t be a greater high than that.”
Patel has signed up to play the upcoming T10 league in Dubai, and said that he might consider becoming a coach. “I still can’t believe I am quitting cricket as I don’t know anything else. I understand only cricket,” he added.