Ambati Rayudu thanks Virat Kohli in retirement letter after Cricket World Cup snub

Batsman overlooked twice after Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar replaced by Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal

India's Ambati Rayudu leaves the field after his dismissal by Australia's Adam Zampa during the first one day international cricket match between India and Australia, in Hyderabad, India, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
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Controversial Indian batsman Ambati Rayudu has retired from international cricket.

Rayudu, until this year an integral part of the Indian team, has written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India in this regard. He has also stated he will not play in the Indian Premier League, although - curiously - he has expressed interest in playing in other Twenty20 leagues abroad.

"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 wrote in an email to the BCCI. "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 Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings for their support," he added.

Rayudu also said it was an honour to have represented the country, and paid tribute to the captains he played under. "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."

VISAKHAPATNAM, INDIA - MAY 10: Ambati Rayudu of the Chennai Super Kings bats during the Indian Premier League IPL Qualifier Final match between the Delhi Capitals and the Chennai Super Kings at ACA-VDCA Stadium on May 10, 2019 in Visakhapatnam, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Ambati Rayudu had a successful stint with Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

The rationale behind his decision is yet to be confirmed, but there is speculation he was unhappy after being overlooked by selectors to play in the ongoing Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.

The 33-year-old batsman was first ignored when the squad was picked for the tournament in April. Chief selector MSK Prasad's explanation for the panel's preference for Vijay Shankar over Rayudu was the former was "a three-dimensional player" - in other words an all-rounder who could bat, bowl and field.

At the time, Prasad's statement appeared to be an indictment of Rayudu's ground fielding, which has been described in some quarters as uninspiring.

The Hyderabad player, known to be irascible at times, tweeted in response, saying: "Just ordered a new set of 3-D glasses to watch the World Cup."

It was an obvious dig at Prasad and, while one source inside the BCCI told some media outlets there was no need to take disciplinary action against the player, it appears the selection panel took a dim view of it regardless.

Despite being named one of five reserves, Rayudu has been overlooked twice since the start of the World Cup. The first instance was when injured opener Shikhar Dhawan was replaced by inexperienced wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, and the second was when opener Mayank Agarwal took the place of the injured Shankar.

Whether the BCCI does attempt to persuade Rayudu to reconsider his decision or whether he gives his decision another think, it is fair to say the gifted right-hander made a decent run out of the limited matches he played at international level.

Since making his debut in 2013, he played 55 one-day internationals and scored 1,694 runs at an average of 47.05 and strike-rate of 79.04, stroking three centuries and 10 half-centuries. He also represented India in six T20 matches, the last of which he played in 2016.

Rayudu has often been been a subject of controversy, although sometimes not of his making.

In June 2017, he was withdrawn from India's ODI squad to play in England after he failed the yo-yo test before clearing it three months later in time for the home series against the West Indies.

Known to be a precocious teenager evidently with a mind of his own, he fell out with authorities at state level more than once. But it was his decision to join the now-defunct Indian Cricket League in 2007 that set him back most as it led to a BCCI ban which was eventually lifted. He joined the IPL thereafter, making a success of his stints with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, two of the league's most successful franchises.


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