Nearly two months after announcing his retirement amid high drama, Ambati Rayudu has made a giant U-turn. According to the Hindu, the 33-year-old batsman has sent an email to the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) saying his decision to retire was an "emotional one" and that he was "willing to play in all formats of the game" again.
On their part, the HCA want Rayudu to groom the next generation of Hyderabad batsmen, with chief selector Noel David going as far as to say that "he has at least five years of cricket" left in him.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank Chennai Super Kings, 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," Rayudu wrote in an email to Prof Ratnakar Shetty, a member of the panel currently overseeing affairs at the HCA.
"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 September 10 to join the Hyderabad team."
Rayudu sent out mixed signals last week when he stated his desire to play in the IPL. He is presently contracted to Chennai Super Kings.
"It is great news for us. I still believe he still has five years of cricket and groom youngsters, which is more important for us. Last year without him, we struggled in Ranji Trophy," David said. "Rayudu's class and experience will prove to be very handy for Hyderabad and will surely have a major positive influence on the other players as he will be playing in all the formats.
"Hopefully he carries on the good work and leads from the front and I am confident of Rayudu getting support from all quarters."
Rayudu announced his retirement after he wasn't chosen as a replacement for the injured Shikhar Dhawan despite being named one of five stand-bys for the World Cup. He also courted controversy for a not-so-cryptic "3D" tweet aimed at chief selector MSK Prasad who had said that Vijay Shankar - the player picked ahead of Rayudu in the initial 15 - had three dimensions to his game, capable of contributing with bat, ball and in the field.
Last year, Rayudu announced his retirement from first-class cricket to focus on his limited-overs career with the World Cup in mind. He played the last of his 97 first-class games in November 2017. Hyderabad finished seventh in Group B in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season.