India news January 1, 2013

Sanjay Bangar retires from first-class cricket

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Sanjay Bangar, the former India allrounder, has retired from first-class cricket, bringing to an end a career that spanned over 20 seasons. He announced this decision when his team Railways failed to qualify for the quarter-finals after defeating Bengal in their final Group A match in Kolkata.

"At the start of the season, I thought about giving it another shot. But having not qualified for the quarterfinals, that was it for me. Winning Ranji would have been ideal. We missed out narrowly on making it to the knockouts. But it has been a very satisfying season and a satisfying journey," Bangar, who is the oldest player in the Ranji Trophy this season, told ESPNcricinfo from Kolkata.

He shocked his Railways teammates by breaking the news after their victory against Bengal. "The decision was made today. After we came to know about the Saurashtra result, which meant that even a victory won't be enough for us to progress, then I made up my mind," Bangar said. "When I told the teammates, they were not ready for it. They were slightly taken aback but that's fine."

Bangar played 12 Tests and 15 ODIs between 2001 and 2004. Besides playing a crucial role in securing Railways' maiden Ranji title in 2001-02, and then repeating the feat in 2004-05, Bangar was instrumental in converting the team from also-rans to serious title contenders in the domestic circuit. The man from rural Maharashtra, who shifted base to Mumbai only to pursue his dream of playing cricket as a teenager, had, thus, no regrets looking back at his career.

"Overall, it's been a very satisfying journey. Played for the country, contributed to winning Test matches away from home. Winning five [domestic] championships for Railways. Making Railways a force to reckon with. I cannot ask for more. No regrets at all," Bangar said. "It's ended on a good note as well. Even though it was disappointing to have missed out narrowly on qualifying for the knockouts, it feels nice to have crossed the landmarks of 8,500 runs and 300 wickets [in first-class cricket]."

Though it was "too early" for him to mull over his future, Bangar promised to be involved in the game. "I will surely be associated with cricket in some way or the way. Let's see how it turns out."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • itsthewayuplay on January 3, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Sanjay Bangar should have played more times for India. One of the few Indian openers in recent times to understand the role of the opener is to occupation of the crease for the first session and to set the foundation for the midle order. Steady and reliable, he would have made a good partner to Aakash Chopra and together I'm sure India would have much more success overseas with these 2 instead of Sehwag plus one. Very sad to think that Bangar's career is a story of would have, could have and should have beens. But then there are plenty of players in Indian cricket who have inexplicably been denied international careers whilst overhyped, overpaid, overweight and underperforming players have become stars and undroppable. All the best Sanjay and I wish you well in whatever you decide to do.

  • on January 2, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Curtain comes down on career of player who was under utalised for the immense talent that he possessed.I was privileged to be Manager of Indian Railways Cricket team and saw him score a hundred as an opener and then open the bowling too in the same match! He was in the Indian World Cup squad that lost to Aussies in 2003 finals but Mr.Ganguly never gave him a match and continued with Dinesh Mongia, though Mongia never delivered!! This is the way how Indian Cricket is run. Your presence in the Indian Railways dressing room as a Coach will also enthuse and be of guidance to the upcoming crop of players.I know you are not going to rest on laurells earned but shall strive to see that Railways progress & prosper under you.Happy Retired life...

  • on January 1, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    There is a famous Kevin Kostner movie about a baseball player who starts off with great promise, but then ends up playing in the minor (junior) leagues most of his life. Along the way he mentors younger proteges, some of whom go on to be superstars. His life by contrast is a sad one; making pittances as salary ; playing in small towns in front of sparse crowds and eventually retiring without even a whimper. I wish someone would make a movie like that in India, about a cricket player, who never got his due. Like Bangar, got selected, way too late and even then never got too much of a break. Partly it was luck; partly, the role politics plays when teams are selected. Sometimes the media goes mad for one who is more photogenic and he ends up not only with lucrative endorsements but more playing time as well. Wonder who could play such a role? SRK or Amir Khan? U need a brooding, leading man whose eyes will show the pain that he carries in his heart.

  • eMKe on January 1, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Great Guy! Sanjay Bangar has built a great team for the Railways. After Haidar Ali's retirement, it looked as if Railways would wither away as a team. But Bangar, you have really been a great reviver and I am proud not just for you and the Railways but also for Haidar Ali --for him it was a dream come true, I suppose-- that the team won the Ranji trophy some years ago. Sanjay, Hats off to you and best wishes for your future!!

  • QingdaoXI on January 4, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Services need to rebuilt there team as they have loss many players in recent years. Services should recruit Rayudu, Dinesh Kartik, Iqbal Abdulla, Shami Ahmed, Abu nechim, Jivanjot Singh and Baba Aparjith. As it will help the team in transition and built the reputation, just dont play with any players, Please built strong team we want to see railways winning too.

  • RajeshNaik on January 4, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    A hard working cricketer to be admired by everyone. Gentleman!

  • Prijani on January 3, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I also remember his batting won us a chase against West Indies. In this Match, Mr.Sanjay Bangar had scored a quick fire half century. We all knew him as a test batsman, but in that match he had shown some of his lofted shots as well. With now new ODI rules, we would need such medium fast bowling all rounders more.

  • madaboutcricketabhijit on January 2, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    I still remember as a teenager watching Sanjay Bangar's gritty knock of 68 against England at Leeds. All the limelight was taken away by Dravid/Tendulkar/Ganguly, but Sunil Gavaskar did make a special mention of his knock in post match show. Cheers Sanjay, for a wonderful career.

  • on January 2, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    a very Simple Human being.......And a good all rounder!

  • QingdaoXI on January 2, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Great Carrier Sanju Bhau, hoping that you should take umpiring as your next job as there are not good Umpires in India. Some good players like you should come forward and represent our country on International level.

  • itsthewayuplay on January 3, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Sanjay Bangar should have played more times for India. One of the few Indian openers in recent times to understand the role of the opener is to occupation of the crease for the first session and to set the foundation for the midle order. Steady and reliable, he would have made a good partner to Aakash Chopra and together I'm sure India would have much more success overseas with these 2 instead of Sehwag plus one. Very sad to think that Bangar's career is a story of would have, could have and should have beens. But then there are plenty of players in Indian cricket who have inexplicably been denied international careers whilst overhyped, overpaid, overweight and underperforming players have become stars and undroppable. All the best Sanjay and I wish you well in whatever you decide to do.

  • on January 2, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Curtain comes down on career of player who was under utalised for the immense talent that he possessed.I was privileged to be Manager of Indian Railways Cricket team and saw him score a hundred as an opener and then open the bowling too in the same match! He was in the Indian World Cup squad that lost to Aussies in 2003 finals but Mr.Ganguly never gave him a match and continued with Dinesh Mongia, though Mongia never delivered!! This is the way how Indian Cricket is run. Your presence in the Indian Railways dressing room as a Coach will also enthuse and be of guidance to the upcoming crop of players.I know you are not going to rest on laurells earned but shall strive to see that Railways progress & prosper under you.Happy Retired life...

  • on January 1, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    There is a famous Kevin Kostner movie about a baseball player who starts off with great promise, but then ends up playing in the minor (junior) leagues most of his life. Along the way he mentors younger proteges, some of whom go on to be superstars. His life by contrast is a sad one; making pittances as salary ; playing in small towns in front of sparse crowds and eventually retiring without even a whimper. I wish someone would make a movie like that in India, about a cricket player, who never got his due. Like Bangar, got selected, way too late and even then never got too much of a break. Partly it was luck; partly, the role politics plays when teams are selected. Sometimes the media goes mad for one who is more photogenic and he ends up not only with lucrative endorsements but more playing time as well. Wonder who could play such a role? SRK or Amir Khan? U need a brooding, leading man whose eyes will show the pain that he carries in his heart.

  • eMKe on January 1, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Great Guy! Sanjay Bangar has built a great team for the Railways. After Haidar Ali's retirement, it looked as if Railways would wither away as a team. But Bangar, you have really been a great reviver and I am proud not just for you and the Railways but also for Haidar Ali --for him it was a dream come true, I suppose-- that the team won the Ranji trophy some years ago. Sanjay, Hats off to you and best wishes for your future!!

  • QingdaoXI on January 4, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Services need to rebuilt there team as they have loss many players in recent years. Services should recruit Rayudu, Dinesh Kartik, Iqbal Abdulla, Shami Ahmed, Abu nechim, Jivanjot Singh and Baba Aparjith. As it will help the team in transition and built the reputation, just dont play with any players, Please built strong team we want to see railways winning too.

  • RajeshNaik on January 4, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    A hard working cricketer to be admired by everyone. Gentleman!

  • Prijani on January 3, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I also remember his batting won us a chase against West Indies. In this Match, Mr.Sanjay Bangar had scored a quick fire half century. We all knew him as a test batsman, but in that match he had shown some of his lofted shots as well. With now new ODI rules, we would need such medium fast bowling all rounders more.

  • madaboutcricketabhijit on January 2, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    I still remember as a teenager watching Sanjay Bangar's gritty knock of 68 against England at Leeds. All the limelight was taken away by Dravid/Tendulkar/Ganguly, but Sunil Gavaskar did make a special mention of his knock in post match show. Cheers Sanjay, for a wonderful career.

  • on January 2, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    a very Simple Human being.......And a good all rounder!

  • QingdaoXI on January 2, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Great Carrier Sanju Bhau, hoping that you should take umpiring as your next job as there are not good Umpires in India. Some good players like you should come forward and represent our country on International level.

  • on January 2, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Wonder why he was not selected earlier for India. He made small but decent contributions in the limited chances he got to play for India. He could have played for 2 more years for India. However, after Ganguly who did everything to make India win, cricketers like Bangar, Badani, Irfan, Dinesh Mongia, Uthappa, Balaji, Nehra, Gavaskar, etc were not in favour anymore for various reasons. And in Bangar we failed to do what srilanka does - use bits and pieces players so that they become confident and helps side balance. Hope you take up umpiring or some such role.

  • 123cric on January 2, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    How many cricketers would have started their test career touching feet of their idol, what i have read Sanjay started his career touching Sunny Gavaskar's feet and sought his blessings.A True gentlemen and unsung servant of India Cricket.

  • on January 2, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    A workhorse who played within his limitation.

  • kalyanbk on January 2, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Disappointing that the article did not mention his achievements in international cricket at all. Even the other article only mentions Headingly in the passing. Cricinfo needs to improve.

  • on January 1, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    most humble guy u cud ever meet, met him in mumbai a few years, a real Gentleman, who again was given a hard time by selectors but when he was selected he did his job with True Grit n determination. Sammy Ks post sums it up as perfection

  • on January 1, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    good player but a gr8 human being still remember his contribution in 2002 test victory against England in England

  • on January 1, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    I remember his T20 like innings against West Indies in 2002/03 if i am not wrong. All the best man!

  • NikhilRRathore on January 1, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    What a stellar career Sanju Bhai... i really see him coaching Team India in near future or may b heading the selection committee...what experience with all the hard work u had put in sir and Nobody else asses the player better then u and as a human being u r a GEM sir. Congratulations for the incredible journey as a player and we really hope to see you in and around with ur love cricket only... thank u soo much. u been an inspiration.

  • on January 1, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    Sanjay Bangar could have certainly served Indian cricket a lot more in both forms of the game.He could have been selected a lot earlier and was was dropped early as well. He writes very well and I have been told he is great soul as well. An admirer of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Sanjay Bangar is a great ambassador of the game. I firmly believe he would continue to server Indian cricket with same intensity levels even after his retirement. Wishing a bright and new 2013 to Sanjay....

  • on January 1, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    great player and great human being as well.

  • on January 1, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    good luck fr the rest Sanjay

  • on January 1, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    he was a fine all rounder who was misused and unused by our selectors as they did of vijay bhardwaj..

  • pandez on January 1, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Sanjay Bangar will always be remembered for his marathon knock of 68 which he played in Headingley in wining cause. He always seemed to be a hard working cricketer and I am sure he will excel in coaching department and may be in near future he may coach the National side.

  • on January 1, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Sanjay Bangar was one of few genuine all rounder some what like KAPIL DEV MANOJ PRABHAKAR , but some how he could not extent his stint in Indian test ARENA .

  • S.Seshachalam on January 1, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    A very decent batsman with a good defence and also a useful bowler. He could have been utilized properly at test level. How come none of the BCCI selection committees never realized this!! Zonal politics!!

  • S.Seshachalam on January 1, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    A very decent batsman with a good defence and also a useful bowler. He could have been utilized properly at test level. How come none of the BCCI selection committees never realized this!! Zonal politics!!

  • on January 1, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Sanjay Bangar was one of few genuine all rounder some what like KAPIL DEV MANOJ PRABHAKAR , but some how he could not extent his stint in Indian test ARENA .

  • pandez on January 1, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Sanjay Bangar will always be remembered for his marathon knock of 68 which he played in Headingley in wining cause. He always seemed to be a hard working cricketer and I am sure he will excel in coaching department and may be in near future he may coach the National side.

  • on January 1, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    he was a fine all rounder who was misused and unused by our selectors as they did of vijay bhardwaj..

  • on January 1, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    good luck fr the rest Sanjay

  • on January 1, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    great player and great human being as well.

  • on January 1, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    Sanjay Bangar could have certainly served Indian cricket a lot more in both forms of the game.He could have been selected a lot earlier and was was dropped early as well. He writes very well and I have been told he is great soul as well. An admirer of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Sanjay Bangar is a great ambassador of the game. I firmly believe he would continue to server Indian cricket with same intensity levels even after his retirement. Wishing a bright and new 2013 to Sanjay....

  • NikhilRRathore on January 1, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    What a stellar career Sanju Bhai... i really see him coaching Team India in near future or may b heading the selection committee...what experience with all the hard work u had put in sir and Nobody else asses the player better then u and as a human being u r a GEM sir. Congratulations for the incredible journey as a player and we really hope to see you in and around with ur love cricket only... thank u soo much. u been an inspiration.

  • on January 1, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    I remember his T20 like innings against West Indies in 2002/03 if i am not wrong. All the best man!

  • on January 1, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    good player but a gr8 human being still remember his contribution in 2002 test victory against England in England