Cricket

India paceman Zaheer Khan retires from international cricket

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Zaheer Khan, India's fourth highest Test wicket-taker, has announced his international retirement with immediate effect.

The 37-year-old left-armer took 311 wickets in 92 Tests, leaving him behind only Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Harbhajan Singh in India's all-time list.

He also took 282 scalps in 200 one-day internationals and was the joint leading wicket-taker in India's triumphant 2011 World Cup campaign.

However, his last appearance for India came in February 2014 and he has decided his body, in particular his shoulder, can no longer withstand the pressures of international cricket.

In a statement posted on his Twitter account, he said: "The toughest call in a cricketing career is when one has to walk away from the game itself.

"You almost 'will' yourself and want to push that few, extra miles but then the body, after nearly two decades, decides not to respond.

"As I was training for the upcoming season, it dawned on me that my shoulder may not last the rigours of bowling nearly 18 overs a day, and that's when I knew it was time.

"With immediate effect, I bid adieu to my career in international cricket. I look forward to signing off my last season in domestic cricket at the conclusion of Indian Premier League 2016."

Zaheer, who made his India debut in 2000 and took 610 wickets across all three formats, had spells at Surrey and Worcestershire in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

He added: "Cricket has been my only life over the past two decades and is, in fact, that the only thing I know well. Cricket has made me the individual I am, giving me everything in life and much more. I walk away with fantastic memories, life defining experiences and great friendships."

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