New Delhi: BCCI on Thursday paid rich tribute to retiring Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan, describing him as an outstanding role model who served Indian cricket with remarkable passion and commitment.
One of India's greatest pacer, Zaheer, who represented the country in 92 Tests and 200 ODIs in which he picked 282 and 311 wickets respectively, on Thursday called time on his 14-year long international career.
The 37-year old pacer, who made his India debut in 2000 and played his last game for India in 2014 at Wellington against New Zealand, made the announcement on Thursday.
BCCI President, Shashank Manohar complimented Zaheer on his wonderful career and said: "The BCCI appreciates Zaheer Khan's outstanding service to Indian Cricket. He served Indian cricket with remarkable passion and commitment.
"Being a fast bowler in the Indian sub continent is challenging but he led the bowling attack with distinction and contributed significantly to the success of Indian cricket .I wish him all the best for the future."
BCCI Secretary, Anurag Thakur said: "Zaheer will go down as one of the finest fast bowler in the history of Indian cricket. He has been the leader of Indian fast bowlers in the last decade or so and of the best exponent of reverse swing in the country.
"He has been an outstanding role model on and off the field for Indian cricket. Zaheer has been of the key reasons for India's success over the last fifteen years. I congratulate him on his wonderful career."
The highlight of Zaheer's ODI career was the 2011 World Cup where he emerged as Indian team's most lethal weapon and inspired Team India to the title of World Champions at home with 21 wickets at 18.76.
He was the joint highest wicket-taker of the tournament with Shahid Afridi. On his final outing for India, the second Test against New Zealand in February 2014, Zaheer claimed five for 170 - his 11th five-wicket haul in Test Cricket.