Kulamani Parida announces retirement
Kulamani Parida, the Railways offspinner, has announced his retirement after his bowling action was deemed suspect - for the second time in two seasons - in a Ranji Trophy match against Assam. Parida, 33, took 320 wickets at 28.68 from 108 first-class games in a career spanning 15 seasons.
On Friday, he was called by umpire S Ravi on the fourth ball during his only over in Assam's second innings. He had earlier bowled nine overs in the first innings without being called from the end where umpire Shavir Tarapore was officiating.
Parida had gone through the roughest time of his career since being called at a Ranji Trophy game against Tamil Nadu last season. It is believed he'd wanted to retire at that time but was urged by his team-mates to try and remodel his action. He did so but found it difficult to find his old rhythm. However, Abhay Sharma, the Railways coach, had been confident about the offspinner's abilities after Parida bowled in a local tournament and emerged without any question marks over his action.
Against Assam, he couldn't contain the runs in the first innings on a track on which scoring was difficult. He was not brought on to bowl in the second innings until the ninth wicket had fallen, in the hope that he would end the game on a positive note.
The sudden turn of events took his teammates and peers by surprise. Railways captain Murali Kartik said it had been a very emotional day for the team, particularly for the Railways stalwarts like Yere Goud, Sanjay Bangar and himself, who had spent more than a decade with Parida. Kartik and Parida teamed up as teenagers when they joined the Railways together as 18-year olds. They had been room-mates ever since - in the Under-19s, in Ranji Trophy, in Duleep Trophy, in Deodhar Trophy. "I will miss him, we will all miss him," Kartik said.
Kartik said he'd always thought of Parida as "internally flawless", adding that it was the name given by experts to diamonds of the highest carats, clarity and cut. "That's what Parida is to me as a team-mate and a friend. I wish him a great and happy life ahead - he's a good soul, he has always been generous and for his whole life always given. He deserves the best. He has carried the Railways attack for so long, we could always rely on him, and he has been one of our best."
Abhay, also a former Railways captain, said that he had been with Parida right from the offspinner's teens and had also led him. "It is very unfortunate that his career had to end this way, and the entire team is feeling sad. The boys wanted to win against Assam for him, but were thwarted by the weather on the final day."
Amol Muzumdar, the Assam captain and former Mumbai batsman, who was at the crease when Parida was called, walked up to him at the end of the day's play and told him not to look at this dark spot on his career. "Look at the match-winning spells you have bowled, and go out on a high."