IPL 2018: Indian veteran bowler Zaheer Khan set to miss the 11th season of IPL

Zaheer not to play in IPL 11
Image courtesy - Free Press Journal

The 11th season of the Indian Premier League is fast approaching and the scale of affairs are expected to intensify tenfold. The IPL 2018 Player Auction is going to take place on 27 and 28 January, and while all the players and fans are excited to see what the future holds, there is a tragic story lost in the middle. Former Indian bowler and veteran Zaheer Khan has reportedly pulled out of the cash-rich Indian T20 league.

A whopping 1,122 players had applied to enter the Indian Premier League, and a total of 578 players were finalised to go under the hammer. However, it seems that not all cricketers are desperate to make feature in IPL, as the former Indian left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan, who had captained Delhi Daredevils in the last two seasons, chose to pass the opportunity this season and probably for good, as he looks to join the commentary panel.

Zaheer Khan’s cricketing career could end forever

Zaheer Khan had taken retirement from international cricket in October 2015, but had continued to play in the Indian Premier League, till the very recent 2017 edition for Delhi Daredevils, however, without achieving much accomplishments for the side.

It is now reported by Crictracker, that the 29-year-old has applied for a commentary stint with the IPL broadcasters, Star, for the current 11th season. A probable reason behind the decision could be the fact that Zaheer Khan was constantly struggling with injuries, which was evident during the last IPL season also.

Zaheer Khan decided to end his playing days and go for arguably the next-best thing, commentary. A source close to Zaheer Khan told mid-day,

“He didn’t feel like being part of the IPL anymore. He has played a lot of cricket and seemed quite content with his achievements. He felt commentary would be a different experience for the IPL and that is why he has opted for it.”

READ: IPL 2018: Anil Kumble thinks Harbhajan Singh will captain an IPL team.

However, doing commentary had not been on Zaheer Khan’s mind as he was working for the last several months to get back in shape and participate in IPL 11. And when he looked almost set for another action-packed season, it turns out that he has a sudden change of plans. The official said that Zaheer Khan had earlier even rejected the role of Team India’s Consultant as he wanted to play in IPL 11. He informed,

(Zaheer Khan) was working on regaining his fitness since the last few months. It was obvious that he had IPL-11 on the mind. We knew he was training for that.”

In September of 2017, cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle had given a hint that Zaheer was likely to play another IPL season. And interestingly, Zaheer Khan was a part of the Indian commentary panel back then.


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