Mon, 17 Dec 2018
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Auckland

Gautam Gambhir to retire from all cricket

ESPNCricInfo
05 Dec 2018, 01:42 GMT+10

10:28 AM ET

Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has retired from all cricket, calling time on a career that began in 1999-2000, and has lasted almost two decades. His last match will be Delhi's Ranji Trophy 2018-19 match against Andhra on his home ground, Feroze Shah Kotla, beginning on December 6.

Gambhir's last appearance for India came in the first Test of the home series against England in late 2016. Overall, he played 58 Tests, scoring 4154 runs, at an average of 41.95, including nine centuries and 22 fifties. He played 147 ODIs, scoring 5238 runs at an average of 39.68 and a strike-rate of 85.25.

Gambhir also played in 37 T20Is.

Gambhir was part of two World Cup triumphs for India, top-scoring in both finals. He made 75 in the World T20 2007 final when India beat Pakistan by five runs. In the 2011 World Cup final, batting at No.3, he made 97 to revive India after Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar had fallen early.

He formed one of India's most stable and durable opening partnerships with Sehwag, with the duo putting on an Indian-record 4412 runs in 87 innings together, spanning 2004 to 2012. Their tally is the fifth best for any pair of openers in Test cricket. Gambhir was also part of the Indian team that ascended to the No.1 spot in Test cricket in 2009 under MS Dhoni, and his rich vein of form in 2008 and 2009 meant he also earned the ICC Test Player of the Year award for 2009.

Between 2008 and 2010, Gambhir made at least one half-century in 11 consecutive Test matches, equalling the record of Vivian Richards, who had achieved the same feat in 1976-1977. In that period, Gambhir also hit centuries in five consecutive Tests in 2009-10, the joint second-longest such streak. In 2009, he was ranked the No.1 batsman in Test cricket in the ICC's rankings.

In a video released on social media, Gambhir said the decision to call it quits was brought about by "negative noises" that he eventually couldn't fight off. He also described winning two World Cups and being the highest run-getter in both finals as wishes come true, while also looking back fondly on being part of the No.1 Test team, and winning the triangular CB series in Australia in 2008.

"This may sound a little wishful but I've seen wishes come true. Two World Cups, highest run-getter in the final of both of these games is the stuff dreams are made of," he said. "Somewhere on the top is being the No. 1 Test team in the world. A trophy, I'll look at very fondly, is the one I got for being awarded the ICC best Test batsman of the year in 2009. For a purist like me, it is a reward for somewhat knowing where my offstump was. The historic series win in NZ and the CB series in Australia will be reflected upon fondly. But I hope the current Indian team Down Under can overshadow our feats.

"I wouldn't say the list is satisfactory, as I feel I was good enough for a lot more. Along this journey, I have fostered some meaningful partnerships. None more than with you guys, the supporters of Indian cricket, the most important stakeholders."

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