HYDERABAD: It took just 58 days for Ambati Rayudu to make a U-turn on his retirement. The ‘prodigal’, who was named as a standby but not picked by national selectors for the World Cup, had announced his retirement from all forms on cricket in the first week of July. Rayudu had last year quit the longer format of the game so that he could focus on the limited overs game.
On Thursday, Rayudu wrote to the Hyderabad Cricket Association‘s CoA that he was available for selection. “I (Ambati Rayudu) would like to bring to your kind notice that I would like to come out of retirement and play cricket in all formats,” he wrote.
Subsequently, the HCA CEO sent out a mail saying, “This is to inform you that Ambati Rayudu has withdrawn his announcement of retirement and has made himself available for the shorter format of the game for HCA in 2019-20.”
A couple of senior players have played a key role in speaking to Rayudu and making him come out of his ‘tough time’. The effort has borne fruit with Rayudu seeming to have realised the hasty decision he had made.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank CSK, VVS Laxman and Noel David who have been very supportive during the tough time and are instrumental in making me realise that I have enough cricket left in me and the decision to retire was taken in an emotional state and haste.
“I am looking forward to a wonderful season ahead with a very talented Hyderabad team and help the team realise its full potential. I will be available from the 10th of September to join the Hyderabad team,” Rayudu stated in his mail.
David, who has been asked to be chairman of the Senior Selection Committee, welcome Rayudu’s decision. “It is not an easy decision to make. It takes a lot of humility and courage to admit a mistake. I am really excited about Rayudu’s comeback. There is still a lot of cricket left in him and I am sure that he will be a big boon to Hyderabad cricket. He has my full backing and it’s now up to him to help the team reach greater heights,” David told ToI.
“I was able to speak to him and counsel him. I told him that he had much more to give back to the game. I have known him for a long time. He is not only a great cricketer but also a good human being. It’s just that he was not able to handle the disappointment and reacted in haste,” David said.
“I am happy that he will play for the state again. The boys will be benefitted by his presence in the dressing room and the field. His experience of playing at the highest level is sure to benefit the team too. Hyderabad cricket will be richer by Rayudu’s contribution as he can now focus on grooming youngsters and building a great team for the years to come.
“We are looking forward to build a formidable squad this season and Rayudu is an important cog in the wheel. It’s been a long time since Hyderabad has won the Ranji Trophy. We are keen on making a mark this season,” David said.