Ambati Rayudu, a middle-order batsman for Team India, sparked outrage when he abruptly retired from cricket after being left out of the World Cup squad in 2019. Rayudu wasn’t really called up to the squad despite being included in the substitutes after Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar were injured and Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal were named as their substitutes.
Intriguingly, Rayudu was tipped by Kohli to be India’s number four for the 2019 World Cup, but the team management and selectors passed him up in favor of all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Rayudu also made fun of then-head selector MSK Prasad, who said that “Vijay Shankar gives the squad three dimensions.”
Rayudu responded by tweeting, “Just ordered a new pair of 3-D glasses to watch the World Cup.”
To rub salt in the wound, even after Shankar was hurt and India wanted to improve their batting, Rayudu was not called up. The day Agarwal joined the squad in England in July 2019, Rayudu declared his retirement from all forms of cricket.
He admitted that he took a hasty decision to retire. “I declined lucrative offers to play in T10 and T20 leagues in Canada and other countries. I have come out of retirement for well-wishers. It is not a U-turn as for good reasons I believe I have a good amount of cricket left in me. My top priority is now to get runs for Hyderabad,” the batsman had said.
Rayudu was last seen in combat in the IPL 2021 when he scored 136 runs in seven matches for MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at a colossal strike rate of 200 before the T20 league was stopped due to several cases of COVID-19 in different teams.