Having bid adieu to the game on Wednesday (December 9), India and Gujarat wicketkeeper batsman, Parthiv Patel, acknowledged the influence of former captains Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble on his career.
Parthiv said Ganguly was "a leader in true sense" and along with Kumble, shaped him into the cricketer he became for the country and his state.
"I would always hold Sourav Ganguly as a leader in true sense with his man management skills. Sourav and Anil Kumble were great leaders and they made me the kind of person I am," Parthiv said during a virtual interaction with a select group of scribes, as quoted by PTI.
"I still have the Test cap with my name wrongly printed ‘Partiv’ that Dada gave me. The victories at Headingley (2002) and Adelaide (2003-04) and the half-century opening the innings at Rawalpindi will be my favourite memories."
The 35-year-old said he had been contemplating retirement since last one year and that the timing is absolutely perfect in his mind.
"I am at peace with my decision and slept well. Although my family members were in tears. I was contemplating this for one year and after 18 years, there is hardly anything else to achieve," said the baby-faced tenacious cricketer.
"I have won all domestic tournaments, three IPL trophies and Gujarat cricket is in right shape."
Parthiv, who has always been honest with his own assessment when deemed unfortunate to have played during MS Dhoni's era, said it's the love for the game that kept him motivated as well as the vision to take Gujarat forward in the Ranji Trophy ladder.
"There was one time in 2009 when India went to New Zealand. I had scored 800 runs in Ranji Trophy and scored hundred in Duleep Trophy final and the call didn’t come. I thought probably this was it. But then I thought of something else and it was to build a team," he said.
"My theory was simple. Earlier people would play Ranji Trophy scoring one hundred in the district tournaments and I stopped that. I told them if they bat for 100 balls, I will bat for 101 balls and if they took 50 catches, I will take 51."
Making his Test debut on the 2002 tour of England as a 17-year-old, Parthiv had a piece of healthy advise for any youngster who might be picked to play for the country as early as he did.
“I will tell him to stay as much as possible away from social media (twitter and instagram). I know social media comes with IPL but youngsters should spend more time with bigger players who are around," said Parthiv.
"And yes, for a 17-year-old Parthiv, I would have liked him to get more fitter. Skill wise, he was okay, but yes, cut down on those ice-creams and french fries."
Parthiv played 25 Tests, 38 ODIs and 2 T20Is for India, besides featuring in 139 IPL and 194 first-class games in his nearly two-decade-long journey.