India batsman Virender Sehwag has formally retired from international cricket. On Tuesday, his 37th birthday, Sehwag made the announcement via Twitter, with a crisp message that said he would no longer play the IPL either.
On Monday, Sehwag had revealed he would be participating in the Masters Champions League, a UAE-based Twenty20 tournament that requires its participants to have retired from all international formats, and said a formal retirement announcement would follow soon. He indicated that he would continue playing for Haryana till the end of the Ranji Trophy season.
"God has been kind and I have done what I wanted to do - on the field and in my life and I had decided sometime back that I will retire on my 37th birthday," Sehwag said in a statement. "So, while I spend the day with my family, I hereby announce my retirement from all forms of international cricket and the Indian Premier League.
"Cricket has been my life and continues to be so. Playing for India was a memorable journey and I tried to make it more memorable for my team-mates and for the Indian cricket fans. I believe I was reasonably successful in doing so. For that, I wish to thank all my teammates over the years - some of the greatest players of the game. I would like to thank all my captains, who believed in me and backed me to the hilt. I also thank our greatest partner, the Indian cricket fan for all the love, support and the memories.
"I also want to thank everyone for all the cricketing advice given to me over the years and apologise for not accepting most of it! I had a reason for not following it: I did it my way!"
Sehwag is widely considered one of India's greatest opening batsmen, and he revolutionised the art of batting against the new ball in Test cricket with his aggressive approach, scoring at a strike rate of over 80 in the longest format. He has been out of India's plans for over two years, having last played for the national side in the Hyderabad Test against Australia in March 2013.
Sehwag played 104 Tests, 251 ODIs and 19 T20Is, scoring over 17,000 international runs and picking up 136 wickets with his offspin. His greatest moments came in Test cricket, where he made 23 hundreds including the only two triple-centuries by an Indian batsman, while his ODI achievements included the format's second double-hundred. He was part of India's victorious campaigns at the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup.