Singh said he had to listen to his body after a bout of Covid-19 left him feeling weak
“I was down with Covid, and once I recovered, the post-Covid symptoms left me drained,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “Also, when I looked at where I stand, I felt I wouldn’t have added anything by pushing on for one more year. During the previous domestic season itself I realised it’s hard to come out after months of not playing. Training and conditioning to play a full season seemed tough, so I thought I should listen to my body and retire.”
The domestic stalwart ends his career with new entrants Puducherry, but it’s his body of work with Rajasthan that stands out. Having been a senior fast bowler and captain during a turbulent time, with the association being managed by an ad-hoc body for much of the last decade due to administrative upheavals, Singh was part of two back-to-back Ranji Trophy winning squads in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
“Getting my Test cap from Sourav Ganguly in England was special,” Singh said. “I am fortunate to have played under a legend like MS Dhoni. Playing Test cricket is my most cherished memory as a professional cricketer. It came after a lot of struggles, so that has to be the most special memory.”
“I still remember, everyone was talking of Mumbai as the favourites. They had a strong XI: Ajit Agarkar, Wasim Jaffer, Ajinkya Rahane and Ramesh Powar. So, I took the challenge upon me that we had to win somehow. That game gave us the belief to go on to win our maiden season.”
Singh is a Level-2 certified BCCI coach, having recently taken part in a course conducted by the NCA. With a full-fledged domestic calendar announced, Singh hopes to transition into guiding youngsters, both in Rajasthan and elsewhere.
“I’m looking at getting into coaching now that I have retired,” he said. “Until I did the NCA course, the thought was ‘I’ve played a lot of cricket; the experience will help me transition into a coach.’ But after attending the course, I gained a deeper insight into managing a team, understanding players, man-management skills and how there is so much more to coaching than just teaching them how to bowl or bat. It interested me a great deal. Having now qualified, I’m looking forward to being in touch with the game as a coach.”
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo