‘This game has given me everything, I mean every single thing which I had never dreamt of.’
IMAGE: Manoj Tiwary celebrates his century during the fifth ODI against West Indies in Chennai on December 11, 2011. Photographs: BCCI
Former India batsman Manoj Tiwary announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, drawing curtains to a very unique career, on Thursday, August 3, 2023.
Tiwary, who played 12 ODIs and three T20Is between 2008 and 2015, ventured into politics even while he remained an active cricketer, and became a minister of state for sports and youth affairs in West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s state cabinet.
But during the 2022-23 domestic season, the 37-year-old returned to play for Bengal and guided the team to the final where they went down to Saurashtra at the Eden Gardens. It was also Tiwary’s last First-Class game.
“Goodbye to the game of cricket,” Tiwary said in a statement on Instagram.
“This game has given me everything, I mean every single thing which I had never dreamt of, starting from the times when my life was challenged by different forms of difficulties.
“I will always be grateful to this game and to the GOD, who has always been by my side throughout,” said Tiwary.
The right-handed batsman made 287 runs from 12 one-dayers that includes a hundred against West Indies at Chennai in December 2011.
Tiwary finished his first class career just 92 runs shy of the 10,000-landmark (9908 runs) and averaged 48.56 with 29 centuries in a glittering 19-year career. He made his debut under Deep Dasgupta in 2004 against Delhi at the Eden Gardens.
He scored 5581 runs from 169 List A games at an average of 42.28.
An aggressive middle-order batter, Tiwary faced selection blues with the India think tank under Mahendra Singh Dhoni preferring a left-hander in Suresh Raina, who was also his protege in Chennai Super Kings.
As fate had it in store for him, Tiwary was dropped for 14 ODIs after scoring the century against the Windies.
Tiwary made 65 runs and took four wickets in two matches when he made his return but he was dropped again. Injuries also took a toll on his career.
He was also a member of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ maiden IPL triumph in 2012 and struck the winning runs in the last over to seal a 191-run chase against the CSK.
Tiwary also represented Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab and Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL. Overall, he has played 183 T20s, scoring 3436 runs at a strike rate of 116.43.
Tiwary also thanked his childhood coach Manabendra Ghosh, his former teammates and his family.
“Manabendra Ghosh, my father figure like coach, has been the pillar in the cricketing journey. If he had not been there then I would have not reached anywhere in the cricketing circle. Thank you Sir and wish you a speedy recovery, as your health is not keeping well.
“Thank you to my Dad and Mom, they both never put pressure on me to focus on my studies rather they encouraged me to continue in cricket. Big thank you to my wife, @roy_susmita7 who has always been on my side from the time she came into my life,” he stated.
Tiwary first gave up captaincy in 2018 but played for Bengal despite battling with injuries. He made a foray into politics when he joined the ruling Trinamool Congress in 2021 ahead of the Assembly polls in Bengal.
He was then handed a ticket from Shibpur constituency from where he won and went on to succeed his former Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla as the minister of state for sports and youth affairs.