May 17, 2003

Srinath to retire at last?

Wisden CricInfo staff

The formal announcement is pending, but indications are that Javagal Srinath might have played his last Test for India. Speaking to Wisden Cricinfo from England, Srinath refused to confirm an earlier news story announcing his retirement from first-class cricket, but said that he was "thinking about it."

"Officially, I haven't retired," he said, "I'll have to think over it and I'll come back and do it from India." He was playing his last match for the English county, Durham, at the Stockton ground.

The possibility of Srinath's retirement had gained currency from new reports a few days earlier that he had signed a playing and coaching contract with South African club Gauteng. Since the South African session ran from September to April, it would have ruled him out for the India's Test series against New Zealand and Australia.

Though the signing has already announced by Gauteng officials, Srinath said he was "still in the talking stages. Nothing much is firmed up there."

Retirement is a subject Srinath has wrestled with for a while now. Tired and disgruntled after India's tour to West Indies in 2001-02, he announced his retirement from Test matches, saying that he would continue playing one-day international cricket. He was coaxed out of retirement by India's captain, Sourav Ganguly, and played a vital role in mentoring India's young fast bowlers, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra.