In a bid to improve his bowling, Khan moved to England for a short stint with Worcestershire in 2006.
A left-arm fast-medium bowler, he was best known for his ability to "move the ball both ways off the wicket and swing the old ball at some pace".
At the age of 38, he is the oldest player to achieve this feat. The Board of Control for Cricket in India demoted Zaheer from a B-grade to a C-grade contract at the end of the year.
He returned for the 2005 tour of Pakistan, where India fielded three left arm pacemen and had difficulty dismissing Pakistan with a lack of variety in the bowling attack.
He was born on 7 October 1978 in Shrirampur, Maharashtra, India to parents Zakia and Bakhtiyar Khan.
He has an elder brother Zeeshan and younger brother Anees. He also played in the local Revenue Colony Cricket Club (RCC) in Shrirampur after which he started his career in Pune.
He won the Man of the Match award in the first Test between India and Australia in the 2008–2009 series in India for his all round performance with the bat and the ball.
He has taken 282 ODI wickets at an average of just over 29 runs per wicket taking 4 wickets in a match 6 times (4 times against Zimbabwe) including 32 wickets against Zimbabwe at an average of 17.46 runs per dismissal.
The injury kept him from the early 2004 tour of Pakistan, India's first Test series victory in the country.
He is 5th in world and leading Indian wicket taker in a world cup along with Javagal Srinath (44 wickets) but Zaheer has achieved this feat in only 23 matches while Srinath has taken 34 matches.
Zaheer has taken 311 Test wickets at an average of just over 32 runs per wicket.
South African star all-rounder Jacques Kallis was Zaheer's 300th test wicket.
In 16 matches from the beginning of the tour of West Indies in April 2002 to the end of the 1st match against Australia in December 2003, Brisbane, Zaheer took 54 wickets from 16 matches at an average of 30 runs.