Former India swing bowler Praveen Kumar has called time on his professional playing career. The 32-year-old, who last donned the national colours in 2012, revealed that he will only turn out for ONGC in company cricket as he prepares for a career in coaching.
“I have decided to retire from cricket. The decision is not taken in haste, I gave a thought over it and I felt it was a right time to say goodbye to the sport which gave me so much,” Praveen told the Indian Express. “I want to thank my family, BCCI, UPCA, Rajeev (Shukla) sir for giving me the opportunity to fulfil my dreams,”
The Meerut-born Praveen made 84 international appearances since his debut against Pakistan in 2007. Despite his prodigious abilities to swing the ball, he was restricted to only six Test caps, during which he picked up 27 wickets at a healthy average of 25.81. He enjoyed a successful series of England in 2011 despite India’s abysmal 0-4 scoreline but mysteriously failed to get another game in the India whites.
Some of his most memorable performances for India came in the 50-over format. He claimed four-wicket hauls in the second final of the 2008 CB Series, bowling India to a rare series win in Australia. His ability to strike early blows with the new, white ball carried him all the way to the provisional World Cup squad of 2011 before a dengue illness denied him participation in a tournament that India eventually won. Praveen’s last national-team appearance came in a one-off T20I against South Africa in March 2012.
Praveen continued to ply his trade in the domestic circuit with Uttar Pradesh, for whom he made his debut during their Ranji Trophy-winning season of 2005-06. He had 90 wickets from his first two first-class seasons, instantly catapulting him into national reckoning. After chances at the national level dried out, he took up mentoring responsibilities with his state side, even captaining them in a handful of games between 2014-16. He played the last of his 66 first-class games in October 2017. He finishes with 267 wickets at an average of 23.61.
Praveen has represented Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and famously claimed a hat-trick for the latter during the 2010 season.