India news January 1, 2013

Sanjay Bangar retires from first-class cricket


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

  • Sachin 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.

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

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

  • Pritesh 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.

  • Abhijit Singh 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.

  • Dummy4 on January 2, 2013, 10:17 GMT

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

  • Sachin 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Mayank 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.