December 4, 2018 / 5:38 PM / 10 days ago

India batsman Gambhir calls time on playing career

(Reuters) - Former India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir, who won two World Cups and scored over 10,000 international runs, announced his retirement from the sport in a video message on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: India's Gautam Gambhir celebrates after scoring a century during the third One-Day International cricket match against Sri Lanka in Colombo, July 28, 2012. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/File Photo

The feisty left-hander has not represented his country since 2016 and said he would play his last game for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy match against Andhra at his home ground Feroz Shah Kotla beginning on Thursday.

“After more than 15 years of cricket for my country I want to retire from playing this beautiful game,” Gambhir said in the video on social media.

“Despite all the aches and pains; fears and failures I won’t mind a repeat of this in my next life too. But obviously with a few more wins for India, a few more hundreds and in the next life may be a few five-wicket hauls as well.”

Gambhir made 58 test appearances for India, scoring 4,154 runs at an average of 41.95 and was a key member of the team that rose to number one in the test rankings in 2009.

In one-day internationals, the 37-year-old accumulated 5,238 runs and was India’s top scorer in the 2011 World Cup final victory against Sri Lanka.

Gambhir featured in 37 Twenty20 internationals scoring 932 runs, including 75 in the 2007 World Cup final against Pakistan which India won.

He also represented Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

“The thing that I will miss the most is the camaraderie of an Indian team’s dressing room,” Gambhir added.

“It was a wonderful place to be in. Yes, there are pressures of international sport but then when you have team mates like I had these pressures look elementary.

“I learnt heaps from each one of them. I’ll miss all of that and more. Thank you guys, you all will be my one, big family... as a batsman I have always valued timing. I know the time is just right. I am sure it’s sweet as well.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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