“Had Dhoni given me a chance…”: Paceman Ishwar Pandey on Team India Dream unfulfilled

Do you remember tall fast bowler Ishwar Pandey, who had played for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL? The paceman announced his retirement from the sport on Tuesday in an Instagram post. Ishwar, came very close to getting an India cap, but that dream remained unfulfilled. He took 263 wickets in 75 first-class matches. He was a star paceman for Madhya Pradesh and also featured for Central Zone n domestic cricket.

In the IPL, Ishwar took 18 wickets in 25 matches during his stints with CSK, Rising Pune Supergiants and Pune Warriors.

In an interview with Dainik Bhaskar, Ishwar said that things would have been different if MS Dhoni had given him a chance.

“If Dhoni had given me a chance, my career would have been something different. I was 23-24 years old at the time and my fitness was great. If Dhoni had given me the chance to play for India and if I had performed, then my career would have been different,” Pandey was quoted by Dainik Bhaskar.

In his Instagram post, Pandey wrote:

“Today has come and it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to retire from international and first-class cricket. I started this incredible journey in 2007 and to date I have loved every moment I have spent on and off the pitch my early days from how i started to see myself to get to where i am now is immensely satisfying i feel proud and blessed to have accomplished a little bit in my life i come from a very small town and am the first to make it to Rewa (MP) Indian cricket team was always a dream and to achieve that will always be my greatest achievement.

“From waking up early in the morning, cycling 20km every morning and evening before training, thinking about cricket 24/7 – it was a battle I will cherish forever. It was an honor to be a part of it Indian team for the test series against England and New Zealand Although I was not lucky enough to play a match for my country but still being part of the Indian team will always be the most special memory of my life I feel I still feel bad that I couldn’t play a match for my country and I will always be known as a limitless Indian cricketer.”

“To share the dressing room with modern greats like Virat Kohli MS Dhoni Yuvraj Singh Suresh Raina Ishant Sharma Ravindra Jadeja Bhuvneshwar Kumar was very special and to have played a match against legend Sachind Tendulkar Sir was like a dream come true. I started cricket because of him and I have always admired him since childhood.

“Thanks to the supergiants of Rising Pune who gave me the IPL exposure for the first time. It was a huge opportunity for me to play against the biggest world stars in the most beloved T20 competition in the world.

“I would like to thank RPSG and CSK for continuing to select me. To be part of the CSK team and to play IPL finals and win the Champions League was special. I absolutely loved my time working for CSK to be played for 2 years under the guidance of MSD and Stefan Vlaming.

“To have a successful jury, there are many people who provide support and guidance in the background. I want to thank BCCI, my state association Madhya Pradesh cricket association, for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to do well do for my state and various teams I played for. MPCA gave me the platform to make my name and fulfill all my childhood dreams,” he continued.

He capped off the emotional note by thanking his family for their support.

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