Daniel Manohar, the Hyderabad batsman, has retired from first-class cricket bringing to an end a career spanning 11 seasons. He made 4009 runs at 33.68 in 73 first-class games, including eight centuries, and finished with an impressive average of 37.85 in domestic one-dayers.
He started his career with a 144 against a strong Karnataka bowling line-up in 1997, an innings he considers the highlight of his career. "The bowling attack consisted of Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, and Sunil Joshi [all of whom were part of the national team at that stage]," he told Cricinfo. "The first runs I got gave me a lot of confidence in that game that I was eligible to play higher cricket also. That was the best moment of my career."
Manohar made the India A in his debut season itself but the closest he came to India selection was during the 2002 Champions Trophy. He had been named among the probables of a second-string team after several top Indian players had refused to confirm their participation after a sponsorship row. "Any cricketer would like to play for India, and even I wanted to do so very badly at one stage, but that didn't happen, " he said.
Manohar was very satisfied with his domestic performances over the years. "To be honest before playing Ranji Trophy I never thought I'd play Ranji for 11 seasons. Becoming only the third Hyderabad opener to score 4000 runs is itself an achievement for me."
He counts VVS Laxman, Hyderabad fast bowler Narender Singh and long-time opening partner Nand Kishore among the players who stood by him through the good and bad patches in his career. "VVS was always guiding me, though he was a friend, he was also an idol to me, and I was very impressed with the way he carried himself on the field and off the field, his attitudes towards cricket.
"Narender and I both started our careers together, at the Under-19 level, and he used to guide me in many ways. Also Nand Kishore, we used to open for Hyderabad some six or seven years, I think there was no run-out between us that was the understanding we had."
Manohar, 35, is keen to remain involved with cricket after his playing days, but hasn't yet decided in what capacity.