Virender Sehwag has retired from international cricket, officially. On his 37th birthday, Sehwag, who hinted at retirement during the Masters Champions League opening in Dubai on Monday, said on Tuesday that he was stepping down from all forms of international cricket. He is currently playing first-class cricket for Haryana.
I hereby retire from all forms of international cricket and from the Indian Premier League. A statement will follow.- Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 20, 2015
Sehwag, famous for his hand-eye co-ordination and giving the ball a solid whack, did not lose his sense of humour while announcing his retirement. He quoted Mark Twain and joked about the advance news of his retirement.
He last played a Test match in March 2013 against Australia at Hyderabad. Over the next couple of years, with dwindling reflexes and luck, Sehwag was overtaken by consistently-performing batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay.
In a statement released to the media, Sehwag said: "To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of my retirement yesterday was exaggerated! However, 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.
"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."
Sehwag's decision comes only days after one of his contemporaries Zaheer Khan decided to call time on his career.
A day before his 37th birthday, Sehwag was on Monday unveiled at the launch ceremony of the veterans league in Dubai. MCL is scheduled in February 2016, which means that Sehwag will be able to complete his Ranji Trophy commitments with Haryana before joining the veterans' league.
In a glorious international career spanning over 12 years, Sehwag played 104 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 career-best knock of 309 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 (319) 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. His last ODI was againstÂ Pakistan at Kolkata in January 2013.
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 Cricket World Cup in India.