Former India left-arm spinner Murali Kartik on Saturday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, bringing down the curtains on a career that spanned more than 17 years.
The 37-year-old Kartik played eight Tests, 37 ODIs and one Twenty20 international for India. He made his first class debut with Railways in 1996.
"I have decided to hang up my boots from all forms of competitive cricket but will honour my commitments for Kings XI Punjab during this year's Champions League T20. I want to thank everyone for their support and felt that it is the right time to go. I have enjoyed playing this game and it has given me a lot," Kartik said here during a press conference Saturday.
Kartik made his Test debut against South Africa in Mumbai in 2000 and played four Tests in 2000. But then he had to wait for more than three years for his next chance that came in 2004 against Australia in Sydney, where he had figures of one for 211.
"I would like to thank my parents and wife Shweta for their support, my coaches M.P. Singh, Gurcharan Singh and the greatest motivator of all Bishan Singh Bedi. Not to forget the influence that Maninder Singh had on my career," said Kartik, who was widely regarded as one of the finest left-arm spinners in the world.
Kartik also thanked N. Srinivasan for giving him his first break in competitive cricket for India Cements.
"I would like to thank N. Srinivasan sir and Kasi sir (Kashi Viswanthan) for giving a chance to play Buchi Babu as a teenager for Vijay Sports Club. My first captain, V.B. Chandrasekhar, who gave me a lot of confidence," he said.
Kartik played 203 first class games and took 644 wickets at an average of 26.70. But nearly a third of those wickets came during his county stints with Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey and Lancashire.
Kartik also said that the high point in his international cricket career was his man-of-the- match performance against Australia in Mumbai.
"The Mumbai Test (match haul of 7/76) where I won the man-of-the-match award will always be special as we were able to restrict an Australian side chasing 103 (107). Also when Sachin presented me with my India Test cap and Kapil Paaji (then coach) presented the India hat," he said.
Kartik also said that Mohammad Azharuddin was the best captain he had played under.
"It's got to be Azzu bhai (Mohammed Azharuddin), who would tell you that as a bowler, you should be knowing what to do rather than me telling you," he said.