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News

Former Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal retires from professional cricket

A veteran for Vidarbha, he is the only Indian batter to have scored fifty or more in his lone ODI appearance

Faiz Fazal racked up 9183 runs in first-class cricket  •  PTI

Faiz Fazal racked up 9183 runs in first-class cricket  •  PTI

Faiz Fazal, who scored a half-century in his only appearance for India, has announced his retirement from professional cricket at the end of Vidarbha's Ranji Trophy match against Haryana. He retires as the leading run-getter of Vidarbha in first class as well as List-A cricket, and is the only one with over 100 red-ball games for them.
"Tomorrow marks the end of an era as I step onto the Nagpur ground for the last time, where my journey in first-class cricket began 21 incredible years ago," Fazal wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday. "It's been an unforgettable ride, filled with cherished memories that I'll hold dear forever."
"Representing both the Indian Cricket Team and Vidarbha has been the greatest honor of my life, and donning those cricket jerseys has always filled me with immense pride. Farewell to my beloved Number 24 jersey - you'll be deeply missed," he wrote.
"As one chapter closes, another awaits, and while bidding adieu to my professional cricket career fills me with mixed emotions, I'm eagerly looking forward to embracing the new adventures that lie ahead."
The 38-year-old opener played 137 first-class matches, 113 List A games and made 66 T20 appearances. He led Vidarbha in 53 first-class games, 36 times in List-A matches and in 27 T20 matches.
He made his international debut in an ODI against Zimbabwe, scoring an unbeaten 55 as India registered a 10-wicket win. It would remain his only appearance in the national colours.
Fazal, at the time, became the first Indian in 16 years to make his debut in his thirties. He is also the only Indian to have scored fifty or more in his only ODI appearance. Overall, he became the third player to have this distinction, after Australia's Ashley Woodcock and England's Kim Barnett. England's Ben Foakes and South Africa's Zubayr Hamza also scored half-centuries in their only ODI appearances, but they are active players and can still add more caps in the format.
Having made 151 on debut in 2003, Fazal registered low scores of 1 and 0 in his final appearance for Vidarbha to finish with 9184 runs in first-class cricket, with 24 centuries and 39 fifties. He also gathered 3641 List A runs at an average of 35.
Earlier this Ranji Trophy season, Saurabh Tiwary announced his retirement, while Varun Aaron called it quits in red-ball cricket.