Exactly 13 years after making his international debut in an ODI against Zimbabwe on September 4 in Harare, former India left-arm seamer RP Singh has announced his retirement from all cricket. The 32-year old played 82 matches across formats for India between 2005 and 2011.
“Today as I hang [up] my boots and call it a day I wish to remember and give thanks to each and everyone who made this journey possible,” RP Singh posted on Twitter.
“Even as I write this, there are conflicting emotions inside me. No matter how much one prepares for this day, there is no easy way to bid goodbye. But somewhere inside there is a voice that tells you – it’s time. And that for me is today.”
Extracting steep bounce thanks to his height, and at his best finding late swing into the right-handers, RP Singh made a handful of important contributions across his 14-Test career. He bagged the Player-of-the-Match award on his debut against Pakistan in Faisalabad in January 2006, after claiming five wickets on a flat deck in a draw. He played a key role in India’s Test series win in England in 2007, getting onto the Lord’s honours boards in the process, and picked up six wickets in their Test victory in Perth in January 2008.
The highs were intermittent, though, and he was left out after the home series against South Africa in 2008. He didn’t play a single Test for the next three years, until a surprise recall, when he was holidaying in Miami, to join India’s squad for the fourth Test against England at The Oval in 2011. He toiled away for 34 wicketless overs in England’s only innings, in what turned out to be his final Test.
RP Singh was the joint second-highest wicket-taker (12 wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of 6.33) in India’s run to the World T20 title in 2007. Two years later, he topped the wicket charts in the IPL (23 wickets in 16 matches at an economy rate of 6.98) and led Deccan Chargers to the title.
In first-class cricket RP Singh took 301 wickets in 94 matches at an average of 30.57, of which 209 came in the Ranji Trophy. He missed Uttar Pradesh’s triumphant Ranji Trophy season in 2005-06, but got his hands on the trophy late in his career when he was part of the Gujarat side that won the tournament in 2016-17. He took four wickets in the final against Mumbai, which turned out to be his last competitive game.