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Varun Aaron announces red-ball retirement

Last updated on 16 Feb 2024 | 08:19 AM
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Varun Aaron announces red-ball retirement

After making his first-class debut against Jammu and Kashmir in Ranchi in 2008, Aaron went on to make his Test debut against West Indies in 2011

Former Indian pacer Varun Aaron has decided to move on from red-ball cricket following the conclusion of the 2023-24 Ranji Trophy to focus solely on his white-ball career. Aaron, who made a name for himself with his lethal pace, has stated that the game against Rajasthan at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur will be his last for Jharkhand in the whites.

"I have been playing red-ball cricket since 2008. Since I bowled fast, I picked up a number of injuries. I understand now that my body won't allow me to continue bowling fast in red-ball cricket, so I have decided to quit,” Aaron told ESPN Cricinfo.

"This might be my last game in front of my family and the people of Jamshedpur because we don't often play white-ball games here [Keenan Stadium]. I had started my career here, so this is quite emotional for me."

After making his first-class debut against Jammu and Kashmir in Ranchi in 2008, Aaron went on to make his Test debut against West Indies in 2011. South Africa’s tour of India in 2015 was Aaron’s last appearance for India - but he continued to fight an insane number of injuries to stay relevant in domestic cricket. 

Varun Aaron’s fighting spirit and the attitude of not giving up when the chips are down made him an endearing cricketer. After seeing a career ravaged by impact injuries, he had to put insane levels of preparation into his game, and to make his case stronger, he found himself in Leicester for part of the 2018 county season. His six-wicket haul helped Leicestershire secure their first win against Glamorgan in 2022 Championship games.

Even though Aaron was primarily regarded as a white-ball bowler, with a developing banana swing that dismissed Shubman Gill in the 2019 IPL, he never shied away from representing Jharkhand in red-ball cricket. He has 168 wickets at an average of 33.74 in first-class cricket, with six five-wicket hauls, going into the last match of his career. 

"Pace is my favourite thing while bowling. Whenever I bowl, my only focus is to bowl as fast as I can. But you need to understand your body too. I am part of a project called 'Pace Bowler Talent Hunt' at MRF. We will be working with young fast bowlers from around India," Aaron said. 

"Approximately 1500 bowlers have taken part in this. We are travelling around the country looking for talent and 20 boys will be chosen for further training. I am also working at the high-performance centre at MRF. I hope to give India their next fast bowler from these programmes."

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