Chandigarh, December 9
Parthiv Patel, the baby-faced wicketkeeper who made his India debut at 17 years in 2002, has called it a day, retiring from all forms of cricket.
Patel played 25 Tests and 38 One-day Internationals and made 111 international dismissals as a wicketkeeper — 72 in Tests and 39 in ODIs. When he started, it seemed that he would be in the Indian team for a long time, but his wicketkeeping skills declined and the emergence of Dinesh Karthik and Mahendra Singh Dhoni meant that his stock went down.
“Today, I announce retirement from all forms of cricket and as I bring down curtains on this 18 year-old cricketing journey, I feel heavier with gratitude for many,” the 35-year-old Patel said in a statement on his social media accounts.
“The BCCI showed generous amount of confidence and faith in a 17-year-old boy to play for India,” the left-handed batsman added.
An enduring image from his debut in 2002 was England captain Nasser Hussain ruffling Patel’s hair playfully after the youngster had defied the home team for 82 minutes and 60 balls to shut the door firmly on England at Nottingham. — TNS
Tests before Ranji
Incredibly, Parthiv Patel made his Test debut before he had played for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy. He was sent to England with the Indian team after having played for India A in South Africa and Sri Lanka. Patel made his Ranji Trophy debut in November 2004, over two years after his Test debut. He had played 10 First-Class matches before his Test debut, all abroad. His first First-Class match in India was for Board President’s XI against the visiting West Indians in Bengaluru in 2002. Overall, Patel played 194 First-Class matches — 25 Tests, 26 matches for India A and 6 for touring Indians. Relegated to the domestic circuit, Patel played 137 First-Class games in which he scored 8,964 runs at an average of 43.3. His finest hour in domestic cricket was leading Gujarat to their maiden Ranji Trophy triumph in 2016-17.