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Former India International Venugopal Rao Announces Retirement

PTI |July 31, 2019, 2:28 PM IST
Former India International Venugopal Rao Announces Retirement

Former India batsman and Andhra Pradesh skipper Venugopal Rao on Tuesday announced retirement from all forms of the game.

"Y. Venugopal Rao, former captain of Andhra Ranji team and India international, who has represented India in 16 ODIs, and 65 IPL matches announced his retirement from all the forms of cricket," the Andhra Cricket Association said in a statement.

"The President, Hon. Gen. Secretary and the members of the Andhra Cricket Association wish him all the best of luck for his future career and recollect his valuable contribution made by him for Andhra Cricket Association," it added.

The 37-year-old from Visakhapatnam amassed 218 runs with a lone fifty to his name in the 11 innings he played for India after making his debut against Sri Lanka at Dambulla on July 30, 2005. One of his most memorable knock came against Pakistan in a losing cause. He scored an unbeaten 61 with India scoring 197.

"Playing Muttiah Muralitharan on debut was an unforgettable experience," Rao told ESPNcricinfo. "As batsmen, we grew up playing spin, but I felt nothing quite prepared you to face him. He was an exceptional bowler. I have fond memories of that game (even though India lost)."

Rao, who holds the distinction of being India's first super-sub, also recalled how people in early 1990s used to laugh whenever a cricketer from Andhra had a desire to play for the national team.

"In the early 1990s, they used to laugh whenever someone from Andhra desired to play for India. To be one of only two cricketers from the region (MSK Prasad being the other) to play for the country proved that you can achieve your goal," he said.

"To come from a fishing village near Visakhapatnam, where my father worked for a modest salary of Rs 7,000 to support five children, and playing was a big thing. All credit to my parents," he added.

He played his last ODI against West Indies at Basseterre on May 23, 2006. Rao played 121 first-class matches scoring 7,081 runs with 17 hundreds and 30 fifties to his credit.

From 2008-2014 he played for Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

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