No regrets as Nehra calls time on career

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Ashish Nehra believes Indian cricket is in "safe hands" after the seamer stepped away from the professional game on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old left-armer enjoyed victory in his final outing as India earned a resounding 53-run success over New Zealand in the first Twenty20 international in Delhi.

Nehra, who made his India debut in a Test against Sri Lanka in February 1999, hangs up his boots having taken 235 wickets in 164 appearances across all three formats for his country.

With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar impressing among Virat Kohli's seam options, Nehra was in little doubt the time was right for him to retire.

"I will miss all this. That's what you train for. One thing which will definitely be at peace will be my body," said Nehra, who returned a tidy 0-29 from his four overs as India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

"I said earlier that I can go a couple more years, but there can't be a better time to walk away.

"I must be the one bowler who sent down the last over most number of times for India. But those times were different; there was no pressure today. The game has changed a lot since I started playing.

"I played my first game here in 1997. The rules have changed and so many runs are being scored. But whatever happens, this team is here to stay. The future of Indian cricket is in safe hands for the next six-seven years.

"I have played under many different people, but it has been a memorable journey. At times, you pick up wickets off bad balls, but as a cricketer, you in front of a mirror need to realise how well you are playing and what you need to do.

"There are so many people who asked me if I would have liked to play Test cricket. But you can see the glass as half-full or half-empty.

"I last played Test cricket when I was 24 or 25, but at the end, to have played for 18 years and to be here standing in blue clothing and to have played my final match, I could not have asked for anything more.

"I have no regrets. I am always happy, retired or otherwise."