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‘Sidelined’ Ambati Rayudu hangs up his boots

Posted July 4th, 2019, 10:05 AM IST

‘Sidelined’ Ambati Rayudu hangs up his boots

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.

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. “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 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, 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.

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.

“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 made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2013.

Surprise, blame game in Hyderabad
Former Hyderabad batsman Vanka Prathap felt it was a wrong move. “I spoke to Rayudu about a week ago, he did express disappointment on being left out of the World Cup side but I did not think he would go to this extent. He still has two or three years of cricket left in him,” he told this newspaper.

“He was a little down, said ‘I’m out of favour of our own people’ (in reference to chief selector MSK Prasad of Andhra),” Prathap said.

Meanwhile, Cricket Association of Telangana (CAT) secretary Sunil Babu Kolanpaka blamed the Hyderabad Cricket Association. “The HCA has failed to protect and push it’s most prominent player on the national stage. That they are themselves mired in court cases does not help,” he said, pushing for CAT as an alternative.

“They (HCA authorities) have seldom developed the game in districts and have always discriminated against rural cricketers, now it looks like they’re finishing the game in Hyderabad as well. With Rayudu’s retirement, God knows how long we will have to wait for another international to emerge from Hydera-bad,” Sunil said, adding, “the HCA couldn’t save VVS Laxman too — he was forced to retire ahead of a Test being held in Hyderabad, such an insult to a legendary cricketer.”