Praveen Kumar, former India pacer, recently discussed how a senior player tarnished his image during his time with the national team. He suggested that his name was maligned due to his alcohol-drinking habits.
In 2017, Praveen Kumar bid farewell to his cricket career, concluding with appearances in various formats. Known for his bowling skills as a right-arm medium pacer, he left a lasting impression, playing his last IPL match for Gujarat Lions and representing Uttar Pradesh in first-class and List-A matches. The following year marked the end of his T20 career. Despite cricket’s growing prominence in India, the doors to the national team had closed for Praveen back in 2012.
In a recent interview with ‘The Lallantop,’ Praveen Kumar candidly shared his disappointment over missed opportunities and unfulfilled coaching aspirations post-retirement. Despite desiring to contribute to cricket as a coach, mentor, or guide, he found himself excluded from such roles.
The crux of the issue, as Praveen revealed, was the misinformation circulating about his alleged alcohol addiction, hindering his prospects in coaching and mentorship. Denying the accusations, he questioned the validity of the claims: ‘Did I drink on the ground or open the bottle in the dressing room?’
Speaking about his international career spanning 6Tests, 68 ODIs, and 10 T20Is from 2007 to 2012, Praveen acknowledged the challenges he faced. He disclosed that certain senior players had advised him to abstain from drinking when he joined the Indian team. Despite the prevalent alcohol consumption culture within the team, his name was unfairly tarnished by someone spreading negativity. While Praveen refrained from naming the individual on camera, he emphasized that the person had played a role in ruining his image.
The aftermath of these challenges took a toll on Praveen’s mental health, leading him into a state of depression. Despite his significant contributions to Indian cricket, he found himself overlooked and unappreciated. Seeking solace, he spent time in Haridwar for reflection.
Reflecting on his impactful international career, Praveen Kumar showcased exceptional skills with the new ball, troubling top-order batters with his prodigious swing. A key figure in India’s successes, injuries prevented him from having a sustained career. He missed the 2011 World Cup due to injury and played his last international match in March 2012 against South Africa.