Two cricketers who were part of India’s under-19 World Cup winning team in 2008, led by Virat Kohli, have announced their retirement from first class cricket. Shreevats Goswami, a wicketkeeper-batsman, and Iqbal Abdullah, a left-arm spinner, have decided to hang their boots after playing for various domestic and IPL teams.
Shreevats Goswami represented Bengal and Mizoram in the domestic circuit and played for Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL. He was also awarded as the Best Emerging Player in the IPL 2008. He announced his retirement on Thursday in a statement that said, “It has been an incredible journey on the cricket field, and it feels like the right time to call it off.”
Iqbal Abdullah played for Mumbai, Kerala and Sikkim in the domestic tournaments and featured for Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He was part of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy winning sides thrice and also won the IPL with the Knight Riders. He picked 13 wickets in India’s under-19 World Cup campaign in 2008. He announced his retirement on Friday in a social media post that said, “With heavy heart, time has come to say goodbye to this competitive game which gave me great recognition.”
Kohli’s career contrasted with his former teammates
While Kohli’s career has taken a magnificent path after leading India to the under-19 World Cup glory in 2008, it hasn’t been that rosy for some of his former teammates. Kohli is currently one of the best batsmen in the world and has captained India in all formats. He has scored 48 ODI centuries and 26000 international runs so far.
However, some of his under-19 colleagues have struggled to make a mark at the highest level. Goswami and Abdullah are among those who have failed to break into the senior national team despite showing promise at the junior level. They have also faced stiff competition from other domestic players and IPL stars.
Goswami played only one ODI for India in 2008 against Australia and scored 11 runs. He has scored 4021 runs in 63 first class matches at an average of 38.28 with nine centuries. He has also scored 1339 runs in 74 List A matches and 1043 runs in 83 T20 matches.
Abdullah never played for India but was part of the India A squad that toured England in 2010. He has taken 218 wickets in 59 first class matches at an average of 28.31 with 14 five-wicket hauls. He has also taken 86 wickets in 78 List A matches and 80 wickets in 83 T20 matches.
Other under-19 World Cup stars who retired recently
Goswami and Abdullah are not the only under-19 World Cup stars who have retired from cricket recently. Earlier this year, Saurabh Tiwary, a left-handed batsman who was part of India’s under-19 World Cup team in 2008, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. He played three ODIs for India in 2010 and scored 49 runs. He also played for Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL.
Another under-19 World Cup star who retired this year was Unmukt Chand, who captained India to the under-19 World Cup title in 2012. He played only one T20I for India in 2016 and scored four runs. He also played for Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He moved to USA to pursue his cricket career there.