New Delhi, November 10: Pace bowler Munaf Patel on Saturday (November 10) announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, underlining his age and declining fitness as the moving force behind his decision.
"There is no regret; after all the cricketers I played with have retired. Only Dhoni is left! So, there is no sadness as such. Sabka time khatam ho chuka hain, ghum hota jab saare khel rahe hote aur mein retire kar raha hota (everyone's time is up; there will be sadness only if others are playing and only I had quit!)," Munaf told Indian Express.
Munaf's last match for India was a T20 international against England in Setpember, 2011. In total, he represented India in 13 Tests, 70 ODIs and 3 T20Is since making his debut at Mohali on March 9, 2006. However, Munaf will be seen in action during the T10 League in UAE as one of his batch mate RP Singh, who too had announced his retirement recently, too will be participating in the event.
Munaf will represent the Rajput franchise in the tournament which will take place at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from November 21 to December 2.
"Mera mann aaj bhi nahi maan raha hai ke cricket chhodoon as I don't know anything else. Cricket hi samaj mein aata hain. (I still can't believe I am quitting cricket as I don't know anything else. I understand only cricket," Munaf said.
In 13 Tests Munaf took 35 wickets at an average of 38.54 with one four-wicket haul while in 70 ODIs he picked up 86 wickets at 30.26. He finally finished his international career with 4 T20I wickets.
"There is no special reason, age ho chuka hai, fitness is not the same. Youngsters are there waiting for chances and it doesn't look nice if I keep hanging on. The main thing is there is no motivation left. I was part of World Cup winning team in 2011; there can't be a greater high than that," the 35-year-old added.
Munaf was a part of India's 2011 World Cup winning team and finished the tournament as the third-highest wicket-taker of India behind Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh.
"If it wasn't for cricket, I would have been a worker, a labourer, in some company in Africa. Most Gujaratis from this region go there. Probably, I would have been cleaning and arranging tiles. I never thought I would go on playing cricket for so long," Munaf said.