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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Who can say no to India: Ambati Rayudu on his international, IPL comeback

Ambati Rayudu had decided to hang up his boots in early July but now just two months after his retirement, Rayudu hasn't ruled out a comeback to cricket, saying he is open to playing for the Indian national cricket team as well as the IPL.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: August 24, 2019 9:29:31 am
Ambati Rayudu Ambati Rayudu hints at comeback to white-ball cricket. (Express Archive)

Ambati Rayudu had decided to hang up his boots in early July but hasn’t ruled out a comeback to cricket, saying he is open to playing for the Indian national cricket team as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL). “Of course, who will say no to India?” the 33-year old replied on being asked if he was open to selection to the national side.

Rayudu was on the official standby list for World Cup 2019 but Indian selectors overlooked him on multiple occasions. Rayudu’s decision to retire came after Mayank Agarwal was named as a replacement for an injured Vijay Shankar.

Speaking to Sportstar, Rayudu, who has scored 1,694 runs with three centuries and 10 fifties at 47.05 in ODI format, said, “Not really an emotional decision. No. I mean I had worked a lot for the World Cup for four to five years. Obviously, you will be a bit disappointed.”

“But I had thought maybe it was time, not because it was rejection or emotion, but you work towards something and maybe then you want something else. I had some time to think about this, so thought might as well come and play some cricket,” said Rayudu.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Rayudu claims, had been very supportive throughout. He said, “I am very happy that CSK has always been very supportive. I would be really happy to prepare well for the IPL and represent CSK. Definitely, I would be playing the IPL.”

Ambati Rayudu said that CSK has been very supportive. (Source: PTI)

When asked if a comeback to cricket can be expected, the former India middle-order batsman said, “I haven’t thought much but I would prepare well to come back to white-ball cricket as soon as possible. I love the game, obviously. See ambition and targets are one thing but it still is the game I love. It is about playing cricket.”

“So, I thought why not take it forward? Nothing like a target or anything. But my first priority would be to get fully fit. I have not played cricket for a while now and it would take me maybe a month and a half to get fully fit.”

Stressing that fitness is his primary goal, Rayudu added, “I haven’t arrived at a decision yet. I am yet to file formal letters. All I am looking forward to now is my fitness,” said Rayudu.

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