Ambati Rayudu tweets IPL-retirement announcement, withdraws quickly
Reverses decision after intervention from Chennai Super Kings management
Ambati Rayudu, the 36-year-old Chennai Super Kings batter, created a bit of a stir on Saturday after first posting and then deleting a tweet in which he had said IPL 2022 would be his final season in the competition.
Rayudu had initially tweeted: "I am happy to announce that this will be my last ipl. I have had a wonderful time playing it and being a part of 2 great teams for 13 years. Would love to sincerely thank Mumbai Indians and Csk for the wonderful journey."
However that tweet was withdrawn within 30 minutes. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the Chennai Super Kings management spoke to Rayudu, who then pulled down the tweet.
Minutes after Rayudu posted his message, former team-mates and fans paid tributes. One came from former India fast bowler Irfan Pathan who said he had always "admired" Rayudu's batting and "energy" on the field.
Rayudu has been a big part of the set-up at Super Kings, who despite being defending champions, have been among the weakest performers this season. On Thursday, Super Kings became the second team to fall out of the playoffs' race, after recording one of their lowest scores and suffering one of their biggest defeats in the IPL, which came against Mumbai. Despite being powerhouses in IPL, Super Kings have been an embattled unit this season, after Ravindra Jadeja stepped down as captain halfway through the tournament, and then this week left the tournament having suffered a bruised rib.
This is not the first time that Rayudu has taken back a decision surrounding retirement. In 2019, he had announced his retirement from all cricket after being snubbed for the 2019 ODI World Cup. But he then made a U-turn to return to domestic and IPL cricket.
Rayudu is among the top-ten most-experienced IPL cricketers, and the second-most successful IPL cricketer with five titles. Only Rohit Sharma [six] has won more times. Kieron Pollard also had five titles. Under Rohit, Rayudu won the 2013, 2015 and 2017 IPL titles with Mumbai and then won the 2018 and 2021 IPL titles with Super Kings. Rayudu had missed the first two years of the competition because of association with the Indian Cricket League.
With two games left to go for Super Kings in the season, Rayudu is currently on 187 IPL games. He has made 4187 runs with 22 fifties and one century, against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018.
Barring the IPL, Rayudu's domestic cricket appearances have been limited of late. Although named in the 2021-22 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy squad for Andhra, he did not play a single game. His last domestic match was a December 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy fixture against Gujarat.