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Did Ambati Rayudu's Infamous '3D Glasses' Tweet Lead to World Cup Snub and His Cricket Retirement?

On Wednesday, out of the blue, 33-year-old cricketer Ambati Rayudu decided to hang up his boots from all forms of cricket, including the IPL.

Anurag Verma | News18.com

Updated:July 3, 2019, 3:28 PM IST
Did Ambati Rayudu's Infamous '3D Glasses' Tweet Lead to World Cup Snub and His Cricket Retirement?
Image by News18 Hindi.

Did a seemingly innocuous tweet ultimately lead to Ambati Rayudu's retirement?

“Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup,” 33-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Ambati Rayudu had quipped on his Twitter account on April 16. This was directed at chairman of selectors MSK Prasad for not selecting him in the 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup in England.

Justifying his decision to fly Vijay Shankar instead of Rayudu to the World Cup, Prasad had explained how Shankar's all-round abilities gave him a leg-up.

“We did give a few more chances to Rayudu but Vijay Shankar gives three dimensions. He can bat, if the conditions are overcast, he can bowl, plus he is a fielder. We are looking at Vijay Shankar as a No. 4,” he had said.

Ever since the infamous 3D tweet, for which he has been trolled mercilessly over the course of two months, the dejected Rayudu had almost gone into "hiding" until Wednesday. According to several reports, the right-handed batsman, who averaged over 47 in 55 ODIs, has decided to call it quits from international cricket - without disclosing specific reasons for the sudden retirement from all the formats of the sport including the IPL.

But was it really out of the blue?

Team India clan has looked rock solid ever since their arrival in the showpiece event in England. Losing just one contest in their eight, the campaign of Men in Blue has been riding high on Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami's shining performances in the tournament, becoming the second only nation after Australia to secure a berth in semi-finals after the Bangladesh showdown on Tuesday.

But then, the journey of India hasn't been entirely smooth. Virat Kohli's side has faced a couple of hiccups so far. First, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan had to exit the event following a thumb fracture suffered during India-Australia game on June 9.

The unfortunate blow, however, brought a glimmer of hope for one man eagerly waiting to pad up. Ambati Rayudu. The cricketer was expected to receive the call from the management after Dhawan's departure. But instead of him, 21-year-old Rishabh Pant was flown in to fill the vacancy.

On Monday, Team India was in for another shocker when Vijay Shankar, was ruled out of the ongoing World Cup due to a toe injury. One expected Rayudu's phone to ring at least this time, for it made all the sense in the world to give him, the stand-by player, a chance because it was Shankar, who was chosen ahead of him to fill in the highly-debated no. 4 spot for his "3-dimensional" (batting, bowling, fielding) approach to the game.

But the dream of donning the blue jersey and playing the World Cup remained a dream for Rayudu and Mayank Agarwal, yet to play in the ODI format, was chosen as Shankar's replacement. From being the first choice No.4 batsman till six months ago to not even being called up as replacement after two injury setbacks, his stock had fallen sharply.

With another snub came a lot of mockery on social media.

Would he have gotten a chance to play for India had he not posted that tweet? Was Rayudu playing with fire while expressing his disappointment over not being selected? Did his sly dig put off the Indian selectors?

We would never know. Being overlooked twice when the World Cup spots opened up and the lack of opportunities that came his way - would be the speculations for ages.

What we do know, for sure, is that the 33-year-old has thanked the BCCI for the “honour and privilege” of representing the country and hasn't made any reference to his decision.

In an email exclusively accessed email by CricketNext, Rayudu said, “I would like to bring to your kind notice that I have come to decision to step away from the sport and retire from all forms and levels of the game.”

Expressing his gratitude towards the captains, the cricketer also wrote, “I would like to thank the captains I have played under, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and especially Virat Kohli who always had shown great belief in me throughout my career with the Indian team."

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