Mithali Raj Retires From T20 Cricket While Ambati Rayudu Decides To Unretire Due To Fans
India’s women cricket team has grown in popularity over the years as Mithali Raj turned into a star player. She started playing T20 cricket for India back in 2006. Raj also has captained India at 2012, 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups. This week, Raj announced her retirement.
Retired From T20 Cricket
The 36-year-old announced she will retire from T20 cricket effective immediately in an effort to prolong her ODI career. Raj said her main goal at this time is to be able to play the 2021 ODI World Cup. She wants to help India become World Champions.
This is not the first time that Mithali Raj has hinted about retirement. During the semi-final of the last T20 World Cup, head coach Ramesh Powar stated that Raj had threatened to retire. Raj made the threat if she wasn’t picked to open the innings. She was then controversially dropped for India’s World Cup semi-final game. India ended up losing but Raj managed to sort things out with the management and did not retire.
The women’s team are getting ready to play a T20 series against South Africa. Raj started in August that she was available to play the T20 series if the team needed her. However, it looks like the squad is ready to move past her.
Reports suggest there was pressure on Raj’s place in the T20 squad given the fact she is already 36. The management wanted to groom younger players and prepare them for the next World Cup. Mithali Raj has a tough task ahead to not only keep herself fit for the 2021 World Cup but to impress the selectors so that she can find playing in the playing eleven!
Rayudu Back Due To Well-Wishers
Ambati Rayudu created quite a controversy during the 2019 World Cup. Surprisingly, he decided to announce his retirement in the middle of India’s World Cup campaign. Rayudu was initially expected to be a part of the ODI World Cup squad and play at number four. However, he was unceremoniously dropped and this upset him.
Rayudu decided to not only retire from international cricket but from the IPL and domestic cricket. He told media he was going to become a freelance T20 cricketer and pursue international T20 and T20 leagues.
There were many who believed that Rayudu made an emotional decision as he was upset at the way he was treated by the selectors. It took less than four months for Rayudu to announce that he is coming out of retirement and will be available for selection for the domestic circuit, the IPL and also for international selection.
Rayudu is quite a character and did not want to admit that he made an emotional decision but instead chose to credit his fans and well-wishers for coming out of retirement and passing up lucrative offers to play T20 cricket around the world.
Can He Make It Back To Team India?
The Hyderabad team has welcome Rayudu back into its fold and he will very likely be chosen to represent one of the IPL franchises in the 2020 season. The big question though is whether Rayudu can find his way back to Team India and play for the country once again.
The BCCI and his fellow players have seen for a fact that he is a highly emotional character who has also lashed out sarcastically at other players – namely V Shankar who was chosen over him. Bringing him into the squad can change the team dynamic and given the fact that young S Iyer has clicked in the number four spot, the selectors might close the door on the 34-year-old for good!