Veteran cricketer Rajat Bhatia has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket bring down the curtains on a 20-year-old career. Bhatia last played for Uttarakhand during the 2018-19 season and was the team’s first captain after the association was recognised by the BCCI. Apart from Uttarakhand, the Delhi-born allrounder played for Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and his home state of Delhi totalling 112 First Class, 119 List A and 146 T20 games in his career.
Bhatia was also part of the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders title-winning team of 2012 and went on to play 95 matches, being part of every season until 2017. He also represented Delhi Daredevils for three seasons, Rajasthan Royals and Rising Pune Supergiants.
Known for his dibbly-dobblers and gritty batting in the lower-order middle-order Bhatia played a key role in Delhi’s Ranji Trophy title win 2007, where he scored 512 runs in seven innings.
He scored 6428 FC runs at an average of 49.10 and claimed 137 wickets at an average of 27.90 with a career-best of 5/29 that came in the 2007-08 season for Delhi. In List A, Bhatia scored three centuries and 19 half-centuries en route to 3038 runs at 41.05, while in T20s, it was his bowling stood out claiming 111 wickets at 27.20.
There are 28 cricketers who played 100+ matches in first-class, List-A and T20 formats - but never played a single international. Out of them, 24 played for England teams, 2 for SA, 1 for NZ and 1 for India.The only Indian is Rajat Bhatia - who retires from all cricket today. pic.twitter.com/58vzrPsSIB
— Kausthub (@kaustats) July 29, 2020
Under Bhatia captaincy, Uttarakhand did well during their inaugural season in 2018-19 finished second in the Plate Group of the Vijay Hazare Trophy and making it to the knockouts of Ranji Trophy the very season.
He had played for the India under-19 side, and though he played his age-group cricket for Delhi, he moved to Tamil Nadu to start his domestic career in 1999-2000. He was named in India’s 30-man probable list for the ICC World T20 2014.
A genuine all-rounder who ran out of some luck, Rajat Bhatia is one of the most influential performers in domestic cricket. He represented Tamil Nadu, before moving to his home state, Delhi. With a steady medium-pace bowling line and a decent batting stand, Bhatia is regarded highly by his team-mates as well as his opponents. He could have been India’s next big all-rounder after Robin Singh called it quits, but was not lucky enough to make it to the big league. He is considered as Delhi’s prized possession.
Bhatia was a part of the Delhi franchise in the first three editions of the Indian T20 league but was later auctioned to Kolkata in 2011. After 3 successful years at Kolkata, Bhatia was bought by Rajasthan for Rs. 1.7 crores. His experience in home conditions and analyzing game situations will make him an important player for the franchise.