India batsman Ambati Rayudu has announced his retirement from international cricket after not being picked in the initial squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 underway in England and Wales. To further dent his ambitions of playing for the national side, two Indian players picked up injuries and have had replacements announced - neither of which was Rayudu.
With injuries to Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar, Indian team management was forced into making changes to the squad. Rishabh Pant came in as a replacement for Dhawan while Mayank Agarwal has filled the place vacated by Shankar's toe injury.
Strangely, Rayudu was listed in the reserves for the Indian cricket team prior to the World Cup.
In an email sent to BCCI, Rayudu wrote, “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,” Rayudu’s email reads. “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 Vidharbha. I also would like to thank the two IPL franchises MI and CSK for their support. It has been a honour and privilege to have represented our country," reports News18.
“I would like to thank the captains I have played under, MS 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 various different levels. Finally I would like to thank my family and all the wellwishers who have been with me throughout this wonderful journey."
In the 55 ODIs that the 33-year-old has played, Rayudu scored 1694 runs at an average of 47.05 with the highest score of an unbeaten 124. He has hit three centuries and 10 fifties and has a strike rate of 79.04.
In the shortest format, he has played six T20Is and scored 42 runs at an average of 10.50. His highest in the young T20I format has been 20 runs.
At the time of squad announcement, chief selector MSK Prasad had clarified, "After the Champions Trophy (in 2017), we have tried quite a few middle-order batsmen, which also includes Dinesh Karthik at that order, and we also tried Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. We did give a few more chances to Rayudu but what Shankar offers is three dimensions: apart from his batting, he can bowl; if the conditions are suitable, overcast, which we might encounter in England, he might bowl a bit and he's a fantastic fielder."
An upset Rayudu had posted a tweet thereafter which said: "Just ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the World Cup." It was followed by a winking and a smiling emoji.