Harare, July 28 -- As his Zimbabwe team-mates finish a strenuous practice session and head for home before the winter cold sets in, Ray Price stays back at the Harare Sports Club.
The left-arm spinner will play one last time for Zimbabwe on Sunday, in the third ODI against India, before calling time on his career. That doesn't mean Price will walk away from the stadium.
In fact, from now on, there are chances one might find him there everyday. Two months back, Price took over the sports shop at the stadium complex. He is set to plunge full time into his new business besides spending time with his wife and three children.
Price was not in the squad for the India series initially, but was drafted in after he informed Zimbabwe Cricket about his retirement plans.
"My contract will end this month and I'm retiring after this match," Price, 37, told HT as he took a seat in his shop. "There are too many things happening in Zimbabwe cricket right now, so I had rather be quiet. I have made enough noise being on the field. I'm blessed to have had a fantastic career. When you reach a point in your career and get old, you don't want to keep playing."
Price is a trained installer of refrigeration and air-conditioning units, but he doesn't want get into that now as he 'didn't enjoy doing it'. He is the nephew of golfer Nick Price, who won the 1994 British Open. Price too plays golf, but is keen to spend time on his second love - fishing.
"It helps me stay calm. As a sportsman you need a way out to relax completely. I find going into the bush and fishing quite relaxing. It has helped me get into a positive frame of mind while playing," said Price, who played one match in India's domestic T20 league for Mumbai Indians in 2011.
Among Zimbabwe's best spinners, Price played just 22 Tests and 102 ODIs. On the 2002 India, he troubled Sachin Tendulkar. But his best playing days were with English county Worcestershire (2004-8), after joining Heath Streak to protest against political interference in Zimbabwe cricket. He returned in November 2008 and became a canny limited-overs bowler.
"I don't regret what I did," said Price. "But I do regret not playing more Test cricket. But I learnt so much in England. Also not being part of international cricket makes you hungry to come back. So when I came back I was hungry to play and had to prove myself again."
His biggest disappointment though remains not pulling off a Test victory against West Indies in Harare in 2003. He took ten wickets in the match but the last-wicket pair of Ridley Jacobs and Fidel Edwards denied Zimbabwe a famous victory.
"It was horrible. I would have given them all 10 wickets to get that one wicket. We dominated them for four days, but that's how cricket goes," Price signed off.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.