Jharkhand stalwart Saurabh Tiwary announces retirement from professional cricket

Jharkhand player Saurabh Tiwary on Monday announced his retirement from professional cricket at the age of 34.

Jamshedpur, Feb 12 (IANS) Jharkhand player Saurabh Tiwary on Monday announced his retirement from professional cricket at the age of 34. His final match for Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy on February 15 would mark the end of an illustrious career that spanned over seventeen years.

Tiwary, who started playing cricket at the age of 11, rose through the ranks, making his mark in the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy season. He was a member of the India squad that won the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia in 2008.

Two years later, his performances for Mumbai Indians in the IPL – 18 sixes, the most for the team – and Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy – three centuries – helped him earn an India call-up for the Asia Cup in June 2010. He had to wait till October for his ODI debut, though, which came in the home series against Australia. In two of his three ODIs, he went unbeaten and scored 49 runs.

Despite a brief small stint in the international arena, Tiwary found his true calling in the domestic circuit, becoming a stalwart for his state team. In domestic cricket, Tiwary was a little more prolific, participating in 115 first-class matches over 17 years and leading Jharkhand in runs scored. He is presently ahead of MS Dhoni’s record of 7038 runs in 131 games with 8030 runs in 189 innings at an average of 47.51, including 22 hundreds and 34 fifties.

Tiwary was bought for USD 1.6 million by Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the 2011 IPL season, but his form dipped drastically. He had only one fifty from 47 matches, and then an injured shoulder ruled him out of the 2014 IPL. He played for Delhi Daredevils in 2015 and was later acquired by Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016. Tiwary’s 2015-16 Ranji Trophy form was excellent. He was among the top 15 run-getters of the season with a double-century and five fifties.

Tiwary finishes with an IPL tally of 1494 runs at an average of 28.73 and a strike rate of 120. Overall, he has 3454 T20 runs with 16 fifties at an average of 29.02 and a strike rate of 122.17.

He captained his state 88 times across formats, winning 36, losing 33 and drawing 19. He also led East Zone seven times (six in the 50-over Deodhar Trophy in 2023 and one in the four-day Duleep Trophy in 2010). Like his first-class career, Tiwary’s List A career started in 2006. He made 4050 runs in 116 games with 27 fifties and six centuries at an average of 46.55.

In his farewell address at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur on Monday, Tiwary expressed both nostalgia and optimism. “It’s a little tough to bid farewell to this journey that I had started before my schooling,” he remarked, reflecting on the years spent honing his craft on the cricketing field.

Yet, he recognized the importance of making way for the younger generation. “If you’re not in the national team and IPL, it’s better to vacate a spot in the state side for a youngster,” he explained, emphasizing his commitment to nurturing talent. Tiwary’s legacy extends beyond his individual achievements. He leaves behind a record-breaking career, amassing the most runs for Jharkhand in first-class cricket, surpassing even the likes of MS Dhoni.

His leadership qualities shone through as he captained his state and East Zone on numerous occasions, leaving an indelible mark on the cricketing landscape.

–IANS

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