By – Balbir Singh, CHANDIGARH, DEC 30 Forty-year-old Rajeev Nayyar of Himachal Pradesh announced his retirement from first class cricket at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday. He is now looking forward to work as a trainer for which had already qualified Level II coaching course of Board of Control for Cricket in India in Bangalore in 2006.
He compiled 7000 runs in his career. Nayyar hit 20 centuries and 32 half centuries at an average of 44.97 in 96 first class matches. Rajeev hails from District Chamba and played for Una district for 18 years. Despite his creditable performance, Nayyar, did not get a chance to represent India in Test matches or One-day interntionals.. " I wish to achieve it now by imparting training to the youngsters of the state," said Rajeev Nayyar.
Rajeev Nayyar earned the distinction of becoming the first Himachal player to have taken seven wickets against Services in 1988. In one-day matches, Rajeev scored 1141 runs with 10 half centuries at an average of 32.60 in 50 matches and got 17 wickets. In 1995-96, he slammed three successive centuries against Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.
His performance in Duleep Ttrophy is also very impressive. Playing for North Zone, Rajeev Nayyar on his debut in Duldeep Trophy against East Zone in 1996, scored 108. The year 1999 was a golden year for him as he scored 952 runs in eight matches with an average of 68. He scored four centuries and got second position in batting in India in first class matches.
The same year, the Himachal all-rounder erased the 40-year old record of Pakistan opener Hanif Mohammad for the longest stay at the wicket for 970 minutes and made 337 against West Indies in 1957-58. Rajeev Nayyar batted for 1015 minutes for his 271 against Jammu and Kashmir. His name was registered in Guinness Book of World Records for this rare feat.
Rajeev Nayyar was instrumental in North Zone victory in Duleep Trophy in 1999. He scored 102 against Central Zone, 92 against Central Zone and 120 against West Zone. Rajeev (105 not out) had a record fifth-wicket partnership for 381 runs with Varinder Sehwag (276) against South Zone.
Rajeev has played for India A against South Africa at Nagpur in 1996. He was a member of India B team in Challenger Trophy the same year. Three years later, he was selected in the Board President’s XI against New Zealand in Jaipur.
Rajeev is the first Himachal player to have played for Minor County in England for a record time of 10 years.
Rajeev has played 97 Ranji Trophy matches.Playing for a weak Himachal team, Rajeev scored runs against Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma, Maninder Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Ajay Jadeja, Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev played Ranji Trophy in those year.
Rajeev Nayyar is recepient of the highest state sports award Parshu Ram Award by the Himachal Government.
His father Major NC Nayyar was his mentor. He also got training from former Test cricketer Yograj Singh and Chandigarh Sports Department coach Harish Sharma. Himachal got affiliation from Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1985 when Rajeev’s father was secretary.
"Under the guidance of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association president Anurag Thakur, Himachal has made a tremendous programme as the state has qualified for Elite Group in Ranji Trophy," said Nayyar.