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Uttar Pradesh batsman and Under-19 World Cup winner Tanmay Srivastava retires at 30

"I knew I wasn't going to play for India, so there was no reason to continue playing"

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
K Sivaraman

K Sivaraman

Tanmay Srivastava, the Uttar Pradesh batsman, has decided to retire from all forms of cricket at the age of 30. Srivastava finishes with 4918 runs in 90 first-class matches, a majority of which he played for Uttar Pradesh, a state he captained at different times right from the age-group circuit.
A solid left-hand opener, Srivastava moved to Uttarakhand ahead of the 2019-20 domestic season. He wasn't named among the probables for the upcoming season, which continues to remain in doubt due to the covid-19 pandemic.
"I wasn't going to play for Uttarakhand, so I didn't have an immediate future with the team. I haven't been playing in the IPL, I knew I wasn't going to play for India, so there was no reason to continue playing," Srivastava told ESPNcricinfo. "I played 90 first-class games. Yes, even if I could have played 10 more for 100, what would I have achieved?
"Nothing would've changed. I'd rather not block a youngster's place now. Someone else getting the right opportunity at the right time could benefit much more than me sticking around to complete a milestone."
Srivastava's career started with much promise. As a 16-year old, he captained an India Under-19 team that had in their ranks the likes of Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja. At 18, he lost the captaincy to Kohli but was India's highest run-getter in their victorious Under-19 World Cup campaign in Malaysia in 2008.
He was also part of the Uttar Pradesh team when they made back-to-back Ranji Trophy finals from 2006 to 2008, even scoring a century in a losing cause against Delhi on a seaming deck at the Wankhede Stadium. He was part of Kings XI Punjab for the first two IPL seasons before he fell off the IPL radar. Although he was then contracted with Kochi Tuskers Kerala, he didn't have opportunities to present his case.
"One of my favourite memories from cricket is opening the batting with Sachin Tendulkar in the Challenger Trophy in 2006 as a 17-year old," he said. "He is a hero, so that was a magical experience. Scoring a century in a Ranji final, being part of an Under-19 World Cup win, wearing that India jersey, being part of the IPL - these are all experiences I cherish."
Srivastava finishes his career with a first-class average of 34, something he felt a little disappointed with, although he felt playing on surfaces up north meant the worth of it was probably a lot more. That said, he also accepted inconsistency didn't help his case.
"I used to score 500-600 every season, which is okay, maybe good. But there were a lot of other batsmen who also made the same amount of runs. That is why probably I couldn't stand out. Also, the wickets in the north, especially in winters, were a lot more challenging than in other parts of the country. So it wasn't easy as an opener. But that said, I'm overall happy with the career I've had."
Srivastava hasn't charted out a post-retirement plan just yet. For now, he will continue representing ONGC, the company that gave him a sports-quota job as a teenager in 2007, in corporate tournaments.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo