Dimitri Mascarenhas, one of domestic cricket’s most colourful characters, will quit Hampshire at the end of the season.
The all-rounder blamed his recurring Achilles problems for the decision which he called “the toughest of my life”.
Mascarenhas has spent a total of 18 seasons at Hampshire and enjoyed a brief spell in the England ODI side. To many pundits, one of the great mysteries of his career will be why he was not given more of a chance on the international stage.
A superb talent between the stumps, he famously hit five sixes off consecutive balls bowled by Yuvraj Singh in England’s last over against India at The Oval. Mascarenhas appeared to share this bewilderment at being consistently overlooked by England’s selectors, and was fined a total of £1500 by Hampshire and the ECB after a Twitter tirade against chief selector Geoff Miller.
His absence from England duty, however, left him free to exploit the treasures of the Indian Premier League where he represented Rajasthan Royals, primarily contributing as a medium-fast bowler.
He later went on to sign for Kings XI Punjab, but, as was to become typical of his later career, he could not shake his Achilles problems.
Not one to be confined to the County Championship, Mascarenhas also turned out for New Zealand outfit Otago Volts. Despite putting pen to paper on a deal with the Tasmanian Tigers for the 2009-2010 Big Bash, he never made an appearance - this time troubled by a knee injury.
‘Dimi’ was a key player in the Hampshire side that lifted the C&G Trophy in 2005, and rose to become one of the game’s most senior figures. Should he choose, his abundant experience would hold him in good stead for a leading coaching career – England may wish to put their mistakes behind them and finally welcome Mascarenhas on-board for the long haul.
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