Injury forced decision, says veteran Delhi wicketkeeper December 14, 2006

Vijay Dahiya retires from all forms of cricket

Cricinfo staff

Vijay Dahiya: hung up the gloves after 15 years © Getty Images

Vijay Dahiya, the veteran Delhi wicketkeeper who played two Tests and 19 ODIs for India, has retired from all forms of cricket after a 15-year career. In a sudden decision, Dahiya informed the Delhi District Cricket Association of his retirement just four days after he sat out Delhi's Ranji Trophy match against Baroda at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dahiya, 33, said that a hand injury forced the decision midway through the domestic season. "I know what I am doing but my hand just gave away. I know my body well and I am happy that I came back and proved a point to my critics. And I am leaving when the team is on a high," he said. "I can rest and then come back but then I will not be fair on this young boy [Puneet Bisht, the rookie 'keeper] too because then even I am not letting him settle also."

"I don't like to sit out and I just wanted to be part of action before I called it quits. So I thought, let me just field and walk back to the dressing room one final time along with my team-mates," he added. "I always wanted to leave on my terms. Why should I let anybody take away that liberty from me?"

Dahiya made his first-class debut against Punjab in 1993-94, and was an integral part of the North Zone team which lifted the Duleep and Deodhar Trophies in 1999-2000, and also captained Delhi for some time. He was called up to the Indian ODI side in late 2000, and was one of five wicketkeepers used by the selectors in a 16-month period. In an ODI against Australia at home in March of 2001, Dahiya slammed a a 39-ball 51 to help set up a match-winning total. It was his only ODI half-century, while in the two Tests he played against Zimbabwe in 2000, he only got the opportunity to bat once.

Dahiya took a break from the game last year - he informed the DDCA that he "need not be considered" for selection so as to make room for a younger player - but returned this year. He began his Ranji season with a fine 152, his highest first-class score, against Tamil Nadu that bailed Delhi out of trouble, and effected a stumping against Uttar Pradesh's Praveen Kumar that helped his side gain a vital first-innings lead. He informed Arun Jaitley, the DDCA president, about his decision on Sunday, but there was no press conference or benefit match.