November 6, 2003

Vikram Rathour quits first-class cricket

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Vikram Rathour, who played for Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, and also represented India in six Tests and seven ODIs, has announced his retirement from first-class cricket.

Rathour's Test career remained nascent at best, and he could only scrape together 131 runs in 10 innings; his ODI career was only marginally better: he made two fifties in seven innings. But at the first-class level, Rathour dominated bowlers easily, making 11,473 runs with 33 centuries and 49 fifties before deciding to quit at the relatively young age of 34.

The decision came, Rathour said, because business considerations dictated his moving to England to set up his family business of agricultural hand-tools.

"I have no regrets. I only wish I had been more successful in my international career. I tried my best but was not very successful," said Rathour to reporters at Delhi. "A good beginning is important for a cricketer [at the international level]. Unfortunately, that did not happen to me."

"If you don't get runs the first time after that you are always on trial. To play under that kind of pressure is difficult," said Rathour, who captained both Punjab and Himachal Pradesh at the first-class level, and led Punjab to the Ranji title in 1992-93.

During Rathour's first Test series - in England in 1996 - two young Indian batsmen, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, made it big, and Rathour referred to their success. "Some batsmen like Dravid are technically correct. But if you are not, you have to have the conviction and trust yourself," he said. "I think that is where I made a mistake. When I did not get runs, I started doubting myself.

"My positives were that I was hardworking. I tried to play the game the way it should be played - work hard, be sincere and give it the best shot," he said. "I think I could have done well. I don't think I was a special cricketer, somebody like Yuvraj (Singh) or Harbhajan (Singh). I was a traditional, average cricketer who worked hard."