Nilesh Kulkarni, the left-arm spinner who played three Tests and ten ODIs for India, has announced his retirement from first-class cricket. "I have a small announcement to make that I am retiring from international and first-class cricket," Kulkarni said at the launch of Indian Institute of Sports Management, in Mumbai.
Kulkarni, 37, has been a stalwart for Mumbai since 1994-95. He took 308 first-class wickets for his team and 95 wickets in List A games. Kulkarni made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 1997-98 and he hit the record books immediately by claiming a wicket off his first ball in Tests, that of Marvan Atapattu. He is the only Indian bowler to achieve this feat and the 12th bowler in the history of the game. He sent down 70 overs but amazingly enough that was the only Test wicket he took for he had the misfortune to bowl when the Sri Lankan batsmen set several records in running up the highest total in Tests.
He played in one more Test at home against Sri Lanka but had to wait till 2001 for a Test return. He took one more wicket in the Chennai Test against Australia, which turned out to be his last. He claimed 11 wickets in ten ODIs with a best of 3 for 27.
He ends his first-class career with 357 wickets and List A with 135 strikes.