Bangalore: Former Railways and Karnataka batsman Yere Goud has announced his retirement from first-class cricket. Having previously conveyed his intention to retire to members of the Railways team, the announcement was made official at a farewell ceremony at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday at which several Karnataka cricket greats were present.
“I think I am very fortunate to have played 134 first-class matches and scored over 7000 runs, considering my humble background,” Goud told Cricketnext. “It’s been an honour to play so much Ranji Trophy cricket and I can retire with a lot of happy memories. I made many friends along the way and shared the dressing room with many amazing people. I have only fond memories of my time as a cricketer.”
Goud, 40, will depart the game having scored 7650 runs at an average of 45.33 from 134 first-class matches. A right-hand batsman who developed a reputation of being a dour, obdurate batsman able to occupy the crease for long periods of time, Goud made his first-class debut in the 1994-95 season for his home state of Karnataka but shifted allegiance to Railways whom he represented for a decade.
In that time, he scored 6061 runs at 45.91 and was a key figure in Railways' Ranji Trophy titles in 2001-02 and 2004-05. Additionally, he was a part of three Irani Trophy wins and one Duleep Trophy and domestic 50-over title triumphs. His career-best effort of 221 not out came during his time as a Railways cricketer and 11 of his 16 first-class centuries came while playing for them. Goud only played 17 first-class matches for Karnataka, for whom he returned in 2006-07 and played for a couple seasons before returning to Railways for three seasons. His last appearance was for Railways against Punjab in November 2011.
Among his personal milestones, Goud singled out an unbeaten 110 for Karnataka versus Rajasthan in Mysore during the 2007-08 season. Rajasthan made 393 and had the home side at 155 for 5 when Goud, the captain, walked in at No. 7. He soon saw three wickets go down for 36 runs and another when Karnataka were 36 short of avoiding the follow-on. Batting with the No. 11 NC Aiyappa, Goud put on 121 to break Karnataka's previous last-wicket best of 120 between Raghuram Bhat and Abhiram, against Tamil Nadu in 1981-82.
"That was a very special innings," recalled Goud. "We were in a tricky situation and I had to really buckle down. It was a testing situation and we were in danger of following-on but I found the strength to bat it out and got support from the last man and we averted the follow-on. I have scored a few centuries and some much bigger than that, but that century against Rajasthan will always be special."
The closest Goud came to being selected for India was when he found a place in the India A team against the touring England team in 2001-02 during a season in which he was the leading Ranji run-getter with 761 runs. "I thought I was close to making it [to the Indian team] but I didn’t get many runs in that match, so that was it," said Goud. "I have no regrets. Later I scored a century against a good West Indies team [107 in 2002-03 ]that toured. These are all memories now. Happy memories."
Railways allrounder and former captain Sanjay Bangar, who shared a dressing room with Goud for over a decade, termed the veteran's retirement as a big loss for Railways and domestic cricket. "Yere is a fantastic human being, a terrific cricketer and a role model for many," he told Cricketnext. "His services to Railways cricket are immeasurable. He was a pillar for us for so many years and it's sad to see him retire. He finishes with a great domestic record and it is very unfortunate that he never played for India. He only got one chance for India A against the touring England side, that's all. We’re talking of a batsman who scored loads of runs and hit a century against a touring West Indian side. But Yere has left a lasting impression on the domestic circuit.”
Goud's 119 Ranji Trophy appearances put him at second in the all-time list of most-capped players, behind the joint duo of Rajinder Goel and Amol Muzumdar.