Hyderabad: Annoyed at the selectors’ decision to overlook him from India’s standby list for the ongoing World Cup, Ambati Rayudu has announced his retirement from the game — all forms, at all levels.
The middle order batsman was pipped by allrounder Vijay Shankar when the World Cup squad was announced in April, during the IPL. Following a fan furore, Rayudu was named among the standbys along with Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Navdeep Saini and Axar Patel.
Pant was drafted into the World Cup side when opener Shikhar Dhawan injured his thumb in India’s second match, against Australia. However, when Vijay Shankar was ruled out on Monday with a fractured toe, Mayank Agarwal — who is yet to play a One-Day International — was called in as replacement on the team management’s request, surpassing the official standbys list. That was it for a riled-up Rayudu.
On Wednesday, the 33-year-old mailed his decision to parent body Hyderabad Cricket Association as well as the Board of Control for Cricket in India and then shut himself out for the day. “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,” he stated plainly, bottling up much of his anger.
“It has been an honour and privilege to have represented our country,” Rayudu, who was hoping to play the World Cup, wrote.
Rayudu was peeved after failing to make the World Cup squad. His sarcastic tweet “Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup,” seen as a retort to chief selector MSK Prasad terming Vijay Shankar a player with three-dimensional skills who contributed with the bat, ball and on the field as well, could only get him into the standby list.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the BCCI and all the State associations that I have represented which include Hyderabad, Baroda, Andhra and Vidarbha. I also would like to thank the two IPL franchises MI (Mumbai Indians) and CSK (Chennai Super Kings) for their support,” Rayudu wrote in his retirement mail.
Rayudu has scored 1,694 runs in 55 ODIs at an average of 47.05 and 42 runs in the 6 T20 internationals at an average of 10.50. He couldn’t make his way into the Test team.
“I would like to thank the captains I have played under, M. S. Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and especially Virat Kohli who always had shown great belief in me throughout my career with the Indian team. It has been a wonderful journey of playing the sport and learning from every up and down it brought up on for the last 25 years at different levels,” Rayudu wrote.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family and all the well-wishers who have been with me throughout this wonderful journey,” he concluded.
Last year, Rayudu had retired from first-class cricket (in which he scored 6,151 runs from 97 matches at an average of 45.56) to focus on one-dayers and T20s.
The Hyderabadi has been termed a hot-head owing to several confrontations with fellow cricketers and even match officials in the domestic circuit. Last year he was handed a two-match ban for a verbal altercation with on-field umpires during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.
He was also part of the now defunct Indian Cricket League in 2007 which hindered his selection to the national side. Eventually, he was among the 79 players pardoned by the BCCI in 2009 for competing in the rebel league. He broke into the Indian team in 2013 and made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in Harare.