Virender Sehwag retires from International cricket

Virender Sehwag retires from International cricket
The flamboyant Virender Sehwag, one of the world's most destructive batsmen to have played the game, today announced his retirement from international cricket and the Indian Premier League, bringing an end to an illustrious career spanning 14 years.

Sehwag had alreadyhinted about his imminent retirement at a function in Dubai yesterday and chose his 37th birthday today to put an end to his amazing career and said he was grateful to have done things his way.

"I have always done what I felt was right and not what conformists thought to be right. God has been kind and I have done what I wanted to do -- on the field and in my life. And I had decided some time back that I will retire on my 37th birthday. So today, while I spend my day with my family, I hereby announce my retirement from all forms of International Cricket and from the Indian Premier League," Sehwag said in a statement.
"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. I believe that I was reasonably successful in doing so.

"For that, I wish to thank all my team mates 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 memories," he added.

In a glorious international career spanning 14 years, Sehwag played 10
4 Tests scoring 8586 runs at an impressive average of 49.34, hitting 23 centuries and 32 half-centuries.

He is the only triple centurion in Tests for India having scored a career-best knock of 319 against Pakistan at Multan, which also is an Indian record. He is also one of those rare batsmen to have scored two triple tons with his next one (309) coming against South Africa.

In 251 ODIs, he accumulated 8273 runs at an average of 35.05 and scored 15 hundreds apart from hitting 38 fifties.

In 19 Twenty20 Internationals, he managed 394 runs with two half -centuries.
He has been a part of two World Cup winning teams under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership --- 2007 World T20 in South Africa and the ICC ODI World Cup in India.
The decision to retire comes after Sehwag signed up to play in the next year's Masters Champions League 2020, where only retired cricketers can play.

Sehwag was unveiled at the launch ceremony of the veterans 2020 league in Dubai.
The move also comes barely a few days after one of his contemporaries Zaheer Khan decided to call time on his career. Sehwag had not been in the Indian team since 2013 and had not been in the reckoning either.

The marauding right-hander, whose awe-inspiring hand-eye coordination won him admiration of experts and fans alike, had been on the wane in the last two years.

Often criticised for being reckless in his shot- selection, Sehwag was last seen in action in a home Test against Australia in March, 2013.

"I have also played against a lot of great players and it was an absolute pleasure and honour to do so. It was possibly the greatest motivation there was to play to the best of my ability. I have lived my dream and played at the finest of cricket grounds across the globe and I want to thank the groundsmen, clubs, associations and everyone who painstakingly prepare the arena for our performances," Sehwag said in a statement.

Nicknamed the Nawab of Najafgarh, Sehwag thanked his family and early coaches for grooming the swashbuckler that he went on to become.

"I miss my father today, he was there when the journey started and I wish he could have been there today as well but I know I made him proud and wherever he is today, he is watching me with pride. I want to thank my coach, Mr. A.N. Sharma sir, who was possibly the only coach who could have groomed me into the player that I became.

"I would probably have struggled to play for my school under any other coach. My mother, my wife Aarti and my children Aaryavir and Vedant are my biggest strength and their presence in my life keeps my mind without fear and head held high," he said.

Sehwag expressed gratitude towards the BCCI for its support over the years. The batsman lauded the Board for developing the game and appreciating the contribution of players.

"I would also like to thank the Delhi and District Cricket Association and particularly Mr. Arun Jaitley who always supported me and sought our feedback and implemented what the players wanted and his presence ensured that I always had someone to rely upon personally and for the furtherance of the game’s best interest in Delhi," he said.

He also thanked the Haryana Cricket Association for having him in the squad after his decision to leave the Delhi team and his IPL sides Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab. Despite being a recluse off the field, he thanked the media.

"I always gave my best for my team and consider myself fortunate to play with some brilliant players in the IPL," he said.

"I also want to thank everyone for all the cricketing advice given to me over the years and I apologise for not accepting most of it! I had a reason for not following it; I did it my way!" he said.

Sehwag said he would now look to spend more time at the school he founded in Jhajjar.
"I want to tell everyone at the Sehwag International School, Jhajjar that I now hope to have a higher frequency of visits to the campus to be with you all," he said.
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