India’s ODI specialist Ambati Rayudu announced his retirement from the longer version of the game, including the Ranji Trophy on Saturday. In a letter to the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), Rayudu stated that he is retiring from red-ball cricket to focus on white-ball cricket. Rayudu was a part of the Indian Test squad in 2013/14 season during the series against South Africa and New Zealand. However, he failed to get a game and was dropped later on.
“I will continue to play international and domestic matches of the shorter version. And, I take this opportunity to thank the BCCI, HCA, Baroda Cricket Association and also Vidarbha Cricket Association for giving me the opportunities over the years,” he wrote in the letter.
“It has always been an honour to play for Hyderabad and I can never forget the kind of support I got from all those here, including my fellow players, coaches and the officials. And especially, the way I was welcomed back into the BCCI fold after the stint in the rebel ICL,” he added.
Rayudu was included in the Indian team for the Asia Cup after passing the yo-yo test. Since then he has impressed everybody with his batsmanship and sealed a spot for himself at number 4 in the ODI team. However, his decision to retire comes as a huge surprise because the 33-year-old was expected to join Hyderabad for its second match of the season against Tamil Nadu next week, having missed the season opener against Kerala as he was on national duty.
With virtually no chance of donning the India whites, Rayudu called time on his 17-year-long first-class career in which he scored 6151 runs from 97 games. This included 16 hundreds at a healthy average of 45.56 and highest score of 210.
It was only natural that Rayudu, who has scored 1447 runs in 45 ODIs at an impressive average of 51.67, decided to concentrate on the format which has paid dividends for him. Also the fact that he is an IPL regular made his choice easier.
However, it was the longer format where a 16-year-old Rayudu initially made his mark in the Ranji Trophy for Hyderabad before a tiff with erstwhile HCA boss Shivlal Yadav’s son Arjun made him shift to Andhra.
He did comeback before joining the rebel Indian Cricket League and was banned by the BCCI. He then got amnesty and was back in Hyderabad.Later, he shifted to Baroda where he played for number of seasons and also made his senior international debut during that period. (With inputs from PTI)