Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Doni shocked the cricket fraternity when he announced his sudden withdrawal from test cricket, just minutes after India’s match against Australia in December 2014.
Donnie represented India in 90 tests, scoring 4,876 tracks at an average of 38.1.
In a conversation with Ravichandran Ashwin, the leading Indian fast bowling in the tests Ishant Sharma now revealed that even the players in the locker room did not know that Donnie would retire after the game.
Speaking on the eve of the third test against England in Mothera (which would be Ishant’s 100th test), the Indian pacer spoke about his conversation with Donnie before retiring from the game.
“I felt very bad because, as you know, I had given several injections during this test because of knee pain. We didn’t know he was going to retire because we were playing the test,” Ishant told Ashwin.
“When it was almost tea on the 4th day and I think Australia was about to announce, I told Mahi bhai: ‘I can’t take injections anymore. “And he said it was good, don’t buy now. Then, after a while, he said something like, “Lambu, you left me in this test match.” I asked, “What does that mean?”
“He said, ‘You left me on my last test.’ I said, “Mahi bhai, if I had known, I would definitely be bowling.” So I think that was a very touching story. Even I did not know until the last day when he retired. “
Ashwin then pointed out that no one expected Donnie to retire, as he was not far from the 100 tests.
“Even I didn’t expect it, because Mahi bhai had 93 or 94 tests (90 tests) until then,” Ashwin said, to which Ishant insisted that the former Indian captain “is not a man with numbers.”
“Actually you know him, he’s not a man with numbers. So, he always thinks what’s good for the team. He told me (during a tour in 2014 in England),” Achieving a milestone of 100 tests is not great job for me, “Ishant said.
“He was thinking about how to cut (Wriddhiman) Sakha, as he had a long season ahead of him in India. So, I think he’s retiring because of that.”