Swashbuckling Indian opener Sehwag announces retirement

Swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag, the only Indian batsman to score a triple century in Test match cricket, announced his international retirement on Tuesday.

“God has been kind and I have done what I wanted to do,” Sehwag said in a statement on his 37th birthday after again being overlooked by the selectors for the ongoing series against South Africa.

“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 the Indian cricket fans.”

The right-handed batsman also confirmed that he was retiring from the Indian Premier League, an annual Twenty20 tournament that takes place in April and May.

Reports however said that Sehwag would continue to play first class cricket for his state side Haryana in the domestic Ranji Tropy competition.

After making his debut against South Africa in 2001, Sehwag became one of the most feared batsmen in world cricket, forming part of a formidable line-up that also included Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

The Delhi-born batsman played a total 104 Tests, scoring 8,586 runs at an average of 49.34.

Although he had not played for his country since a Test against Australia in 2013, many fans had hoped that he would return to the national side with which he also won the 2011 50-over World Cup on home soil.

Sehwag is widely credited with transforming the role of opening batsman in Test cricket with a hard-hitting style that brought him a top score in Test matches of 319, against South Africa in Chennai in 2008.

He also played 251 ODIs, scoring 8,273 runs at an average of 35.05. He at one stage held the record for the highest score in 50 over internationals after plundering 219 against the West Indies.


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