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Ashish Nehra Felicitated by Dhoni and Virat Before Farewell Game

Ashish Nehra is playing his career’s final India game as he retires after the T20 against New Zealand.

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18 years of international cricket that started back in 1999, when he made his Test debut under Mohammad Azharuddin, come to a close for Ashish Nehra today at his home ground in New Delhi.

Nehra had announced last month that this would be his farewell game and with selectors and the team complying, he is part of the XI that has taken the field against New Zealand.

Before the match though, his team-mates took some time out from the warm-ups to honour the fast bowling legend.

Read: The Four Phases of Ashish Nehra’s 18-Year Career

Former captain MS Dhoni and current skipper Virat Kohli both presented Nehra a memento to mark his final appearance for India.

"Nineteen years as a fast bowler is a great achievement. One of the smartest guys I've played with, always loves helping youngsters. He is someone who knew what to do in specific situations. Sad to see him go but it is happening at his home ground," Kohli said.

Paying a tribute to the retiring Ashish Nehra, the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) named one of the playing ends at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium after the veteran.

Nehra is set to become only the second bowler in international cricket, after England paceman James Anderson, to bowl from his own end.

Owing to prolonged injury worries, Nehra could not take more than 44 wickets in Test cricket in 17 matches. His limited overs career record has been far more impressive with 157 wickets from 120 ODI matches, besides 34 scalps from 26 T20 Internationals.

Nehra was part of the Sourav Ganguly-led team that reached the final of the 2003 World Cup, and his most memorable moment was also witnessed during the same tournament when he demolished England with a fine spell of 6/23. Figures that are to date the best outing for an Indian bowler in a World Cup match.

Nehra also later went on to win the World Cup in 2011, under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy.

While it was the end of one career, the match also marked the start of one. Shreyas Iyer was handed his first T20 cap before the match, by his coach Ravi Shastri.

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