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Ambati Rayudu Announces Retirement After Being Overlooked for World Cup Squad Twice

File photo of Ambati Rayudu

File photo of Ambati Rayudu

Ignored for the ongoing World Cup 2019, Indian middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu has decided to retire from all forms of cricket, a BCCI official has revealed.

Ignored for the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 twice over, Indian middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu has decided to retire from all forms of cricket on Wednesday (July 3). The BCCI announced Rayudu’s decision on Wednesday evening through a media release.

“Ambati Rayudu has announced his retirement from all formats of the game. Having first made his first-class debut in the 2001-02 season for Hyderabad in a Ranji Trophy pre-quarterfinal match against Himachal Pradesh, Rayudu went on to play 55 ODIs and 6 T20Is for India," the BCCI release said. “BCCI congratulates Rayudu on a successful journey and for his contribution to Indian cricket."

The 33-year-old Andhra batsman was on the official standbys list for the World Cup in England & Wales but was ignored despite injury to first opener Shikhar Dhawan and then to all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Rishabh Pant was brought into the side when Dhawan was ruled out while Mayank Agarwal replaced Vijay on the team management’s insistence.

Rayudu made his decision known via a mail to BCCI senior officials. In the letter to which Cricketnext has exclusive access to, the 33-year-old stated that “it has been an honour and privilege to have represented the country".

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Rayudu played 55 ODIs for India, scoring 1694 runs at an average of 47.05 in a stop-start career that spanned six years. In the six T20 Internationals that he played, Rayudu could only muster 42 runs. He made his ODI debut back in 2013 against Zimbabwe before playing his last 50-over game against Australia in Ranchi earlier this year.

The middle-order batsman had in 2018 announced retirement from first-class cricket to concentrate solely on his 50-over and T20 career. In all, he slammed 6151 runs from 97 first-class outings.

Rayudu had a successful IPL career as well and it was his performance last year for Chennai Super Kings that brought him back into the reckoning for the national side. However, he could not replicate the same effort this year where he could only muster 282 runs from 17 games. He turned out for Mumbai Indians and CSK during his IPL career.

Rayudu’s mail could also mean that he intends to bring the curtains down on his IPL career, dating back to 2010. In 147 IPL games, Rayudu scored 3300 runs at an average of 28.69 with one hundred and 18 fifties at a strike-rate of 125.95.

Rayudu, who could never break into the Test team, was in the spotlight before the World Cup. Declared the preferred No.4 batsman by captain Virat Kohli not many months ago, he was ignored for Vijay in India’s final squad for the quadrennial event.

Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad had justified the move by saying that Shankar had “three-dimensional skills".

Rayudu then took a dig at that statement with a cheeky social media post.

Rayudu earned the reputation of being a temperamental player owing to several confrontations with fellow cricketers and even match officials on the domestic circuit.

He played in the now defunct Indian Cricket League in 2007 which came in the way of his selection to the national side. Eventually, he found himself among the 79 players, who were pardoned by the BCCI in 2009 for competing in the rebel league.

Last year, Rayudu hit the headlines after being handed a two-match ban for a verbal altercation with on-field umpires during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

(With inputs from PTI)

first published:July 03, 2019, 13:32 IST