Sunil Joshi calls it a day
Bengaluru, June 22: Former India left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The 42-yar-old from Karnataka represented India between 1996 and 2001.
In 15 Tests, Joshi bagged 41 wickets while his 69 ODI appearances fetched him 69 wickets. His contribution with the bat lower down the order was 352 and 1470 runs in Tests and ODIs respectively.
The left-arm spinner’s best performance came in an ODI against South Africa in the 1999 LG Cup when he registered bowling figures of 10-6-6-5. Three years later, Wisden rated the feat as the seventh best ODI bowling performance.
Joshi’s first-class career spanned 19 years, from 1992 to 2011. During this period, he plied his trade for his state side Karnataka ably, finishing with final first-class figures of 615 wickets and 5129 runs in 160 matches. In the 1995-96 Ranji Trophy, Joshi claimed a double of 500 runs and 50 wickets.
The veteran spinner played for Bedfordshire County Cricket Club in England in 2004 and was also a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in IPL 2008 and 2009.
Addressing a media conference announcing his retirement plans he said that having coached the Hyderabad team last year, he was now looking to help Karnataka youngsters hone their cricketing skills. "Definitely my heart is here," he said.
He was, however, wary of taking up the Karnataka coaching role immediately after retirement. "You need a couple of years before you take up the job of coaching the home state so the players [can] understand [one’s coaching style]. Taking up a coaching job soon after retirement will be a stumbling block [preventing] players [from freely] interacting with the coach," he felt.
Reliving his long cricketing career, Joshi singled out the 1998-99 Ranji Trophy final against Madhya Pradesh as his most cherished moment. "Vijay Bhardwaj made history for Karnataka. His form in the 1998-99 domestic season, when he scored 1,463 runs and grabbed 21 crucial wickets to help Karnataka defeat Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji final, [was amazing]" he recalled.
Joshi’s legendary spin colleague from Karnataka, KSCA President Anil Kumble called the commited left-arm spinner a role model for youngsters. Recalling how a 15-year-old Joshi would travel 56 kms from his town Gadag to Hubli for practice everyday, Kumble said, "Joshi's contribution to Karnataka cricket is invaluable.” The former India skipper hoped Joshi would continue to contribute to state cricket as a mentor to young cricketers.