Smit Patel scored a match-winning half-century in U-19 WC final. Photo: ICC
- Former India U-19 World Cup-winner Smit Patel has confirmed his retirement from Indian cricket
- Smit was a member of 2012 U-19 World Cup-winning team which won the trophy by defeating Australia in the final
- He is also set for his maiden CPL stint with Barbados Tridents
Former India U-19 World Cup-winner Smit Patel has confirmed retiring from Indian cricket. Smit, who now lives in the US, was picked up by Barbados Tridents for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The update had sort of confirmed that he wasn’t going to return to Indian domestic cricket as the BCCI’s rules don’t permit an Indian player to play overseas leagues. Smit can play overseas leagues from now on but can’t ply his trade in the Indian Premier League.
The star performer of the 2012 U-19 World Cup victory, Smit confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the ‘India chapter’ of his cricketing career is over.
“All this is bound to happen when there’s stifling competition, so I’ve got no complaints. I’m blessed to have played for India at a world event – few get that chance. So I’m moving on with happy memories. All my paperwork with the BCCI is complete. I’ve sent in my retirement letter. So the India chapter of my cricket career is over. If I return, it’ll only be to train here for a month or so every year when it’s snowing back in the US,” he told ESPNcricinfo.
Smit scored a vital 62* off 84 in the 2012 U-19 WC final against the home team, Australia, in Townsville. He joined skipper Unmukt Chand when India were reeling at 97/4 in the chase to the target of 226. The duo stitched a match-winning partnership of 130 runs and propelled India to their 3rd title victory. Although Unmukt led from the front and scored off 111* off 130, it was Smit who hit the winning shot for the Men in Blue.
Since he has now switched to the US, Smit will be eligible to play international cricket for the USA cricket team once he completes the residency period.
“They (players, coaches) have been pretty welcoming of me and the decision I’ve taken to try and forge a career here. I still must score runs, perform well and do everything asked of me to get selected. Mere eligibility doesn’t guarantee anything, but I’m willing to put in the hard work and try and carve out a second coming of sorts in my career in America,” he said.
Smit, who will be playing alongside Jason Holder, Chris Morris and others in CPL, has moved to the US with a wealthy experience of 9 seasons of Indian domestic cricket under his belt. The wicketkeeper-batsman played 55 first-class, 43 List A and 28 T20s.
Smit started his career with Gujarat before moving to Tripura, Goa and Baroda. His final domestic appearance came for Baroda in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020/21. While Smit never played IPL, he once represented the Board President’s XI against West Indies in 2018.