Ambati Rayudu calls time on first-class career
The batsman said the decision was taken so that he could focus on his limited-overs career
Ambati Rayudu has called time on his first-class career in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. Rayudu, who recently made a comeback into the Indian ODI side, communicated the decision to the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) on Saturday.
Rayudu will continue to play international and domestic matches in the shorter versions. He had a successful outing in India's recently concluded five-match ODI series against West Indies, hitting a century in the fourth ODI to cement his claim to what had been a fairly long search to fill the No. 4 spot in the Indian team.
The 33-year-old Rayudu had begun his career with the HCA, making his first-class debut as a teenager in 2001. He played only the one game that season, but the next year he made an immediate impact with 210 and 159 not out against Andhra in just his third match. However, Rayudu had a rocky ride at Hyderabad with reports of differences with Arjun Yadav, and he soon moved to Andhra - one of the four teams he would eventually represent in domestic cricket.
Yadav, son of former India player Shivlal Yadav, is the current Hyderabad coach.
His stint with Andhra was also short, and he came back to Hyderabad before joining the now-defunct Indian Cricket League, thus being banned from participating in any BCCI-sanctioned tournaments. When the ICL dissolved and its players returned, Rayudu also returned to Hyderabad, but moved out a season later to Baroda. In 2016-17, he signed up with Vidarabha, although injuries prevented him from playing a single first-class match for the team though he did turn out in a few domestic limited-overs matches.
Rayudu returned to Hyderabad before the 2017-18 season, but since making his debut for India in 2013, Rayudu has not played in a full Ranji season. Last year, he played only three matches for Hyderabad, scoring 278 runs at an average of 69.50 with a century and two fifties.
He ends his first-class career with 6151 runs in 97 matches, at an average of 45.56 with 16 centuries. The 210 he scored in his third first-class match remains his highest score.