Saurabh Tiwary announces retirement

Saurabh Tiwary has announced his retirement from professional cricket. The 34-year-old will play his final match for Jharkhand as they close out their Ranji Trophy campaign on February 15 in Jamshedpur.

Tiwary began playing cricket at the age of 11. He made his first-class debut, while still a teenager, in the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy season and then went on to win the Under-19 World Cup as part of the team that Virat Kohli captained in Malaysia in 2008.

Tiwary’s rise continued, his performances for the Mumbai Indians in 2010, where he hit 419 runs, and for Jharkhand in the same year, led to an India call-up for the Asia Cup in June but he had to wait till October to make his international debut. He played three ODIs, scoring 49 runs and ended up unbeaten in two of them.

Tiwary was rather more prolific in domestic cricket, playing 115 first-class matches across 17 years and amassing 8030 runs in 189 innings at an average of 47.51 including 22 hundreds and 34 fifties.

“It’s a little tough to bid farewell to this journey that I had started before my schooling,” Tiwary said on Monday at a press conference at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur. “But I’m also sure that this is the right time for this. I feel that if you’re not in the national team and IPL, it’s better to vacate a spot in the state side for a youngster. Youngsters are getting a lot of chances in our Test team so I’m making this decision.

“It’s not like I’ve decided this only on the basis of my performances. You can see my record in Ranji and in the last domestic season. It’s always asked what I’m going to do next and for now I only know that cricket is the only thing I know so I’m going to be connected to the game. I got an offer from politics too but I haven’t thought about that.”

Tiwary had a bit of an up and down relationship with the IPL. Following his efforts to help Mumbai to their first final, he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for USD 1.6 million in 2011 but he could not replicate the same level of success in his three years with his new franchise. A shoulder injury ruled him out of IPL 2014 after which he played for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and Rising Pune Supergiant for a year each before returning to Mumbai in 2021 at the age of 31, which was a sign that his left-handedness and his power game were seen as valuable assets in the shortest format.

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 strike rate of 122.17.

He captained his state 88 time 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 hundreds at an average of 46.55.

In the 2023-24 Ranji season, Jharkhand have secured one sole victory in six games and are out of contention for the quarter-finals.

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