There could be more turmoil in the Chennai Super Kings camp after senior hitter Ambati Rayudu announced his ‘IPL retirement’ on social media, only to backtrack within an hour after being talked out of it by the leadership of the team.
CSK are already out of playoff contention with a few games to go, but already former skipper Ravindra Jadeja has returned home with a ‘bruised rib’, but not before fueling speculation that he has had a falling out with management after being told to give up the captaincy.
On Saturday morning, the 36-year-old former Indian whiteball player took to Twitter to announce his decision. “I am happy to announce that this will be my last IPL. I had a wonderful time playing there and being part of 2 great teams for 13 years. I would like to sincerely thank Mumbai Indians and Csk for this wonderful trip,” Rayudu tweeted.
But within an hour, the post was deleted as CSK owners and team management were completely caught off guard by Rayudu’s decision, which also raised questions about the communication channel in one of the most successful teams in IPL history. “I can confirm that Ambati Rayudu is not retiring from IPL. Yes, he tweeted about it. It may have been in an emotional state that he tweeted. He was spoken to and then deleted the tweet,” CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan told PTI. .
This is not the first time that Rayudu has turned around after his decision to retire. He made news following his ‘3D’ tweet aimed at India manager MSK Prasad amid his exclusion from the 2019 World Cup squad. Rayudu subsequently retired from international cricket in July of the same year to reverse its decision. In his decade-plus IPL career, Rayudu, an IPL legend, has represented two franchises. He was first picked up by Mumbai Indians in 2010 after being cleared by the BCCI to return to the main fold after moving to the de-recognized Indian Cricket League in 2007 and remained there until 2017 .
Rayudu is one of the most successful players in the IPL as he was part of the title winning teams five times (2013, 2015, 2017 with Mumbai Indians and 2018, 2021 with Chennai Super Kings) . In his entire IPL career, the 36-year-old Rayudu made 4,187 runs at an average of 29.28, scoring a century and 22 fifty. The Hyderabad mid-order hitter is also the 10th Indian to reach the 4,000-run mark in IPL.
In the current IPL season, Rayudu has scored 271 points at a strike rate of 124 but has often been seen struggling for his fitness on the pitch. In the last IPL in the United Arab Emirates, Rayudu scored 257 runs over 13 innings with a tournament best 72 not knocked out. He was retained by CSK, but later the four-time champions successfully scooped him up for Rs 6.75 crore.
Rayudu played 55 ODIs and six T20Is for India, racking up 1694 and 42 points respectively. His best tally in the ODIs is 124 not against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club in 2015.
First post: STI