Rajat Bhatia, a stalwart in Indian domestic cricket, announced his retirement from all forms of the game on Wednesday. Bhatia, 40, last played a first-class game in 2018 for Uttarakhand.
The former Delhi cricketer played 112 first-class games in his 21-year-long domestic career. The all-rounder scored 6482 runs at an average of 49.10 and bagged 137 wickets. In List A cricket, Bhatia amassed 3038 runs and bagged 93 wickets. Interestingly, he was also a part of Kolkata Knight Riders’ title-winning IPL side in 2012.
👉 Won Ranji Trophy with Delhi in 2007-08
👉 Scored 6⃣4⃣8⃣2⃣ runs and picked 1⃣3⃣7⃣ wickets in 1⃣1⃣2⃣ First Class matches
We wish Rajat Bhatia well for the road ahead as he retires from all forms of cricket. 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/RHpoow3chM
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) July 29, 2020
The cricketer, who travelled to Israel with India A with Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay and Wriddiman Saha in 2008, could not make it to the senior team. He made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu, then moved to Delhi in 2003-04.
Bhatia was a regular in the Delhi team for close to a decade and played a vital role in Delhi’s Ranji Trophy win against Uttar Pradesh in 2007-08. He played 81 matches for Delhi before shifting to Rajasthan in 2015 after he was unceremoniously left out in the same year.
It was widely speculated at that period that this would be the end of the diminutive all-rounder’s impressive career, where he averaged 48.16 with the bat and 28.25 with the ball. But in 2018-19 season, the veteran cricketer joined Uttarakhand.
Though he could not become a part of Team India, the gritty cricketer was a success in IPL. After playing for Delhi Daredevils in the first three seasons of IPL, Bhatia turned his fortunes around when he was drafted into the KKR by then-captain Gautam Gambhir. He was instrumental in KKR’s maiden IPL triumph in 2012 with 13 wickets in that season.
He was picked up by Rajasthan Royals for a whopping 1.7 crores ahead of IPL 2014 and repaid their faith with 12 wickets in that season. Bhatia also played a couple of seasons for Rising Pune Supergiants. His last appearance in IPL was in 2017.