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Ambati Rayudu does a U-turn on retirement, willing to play for Hyderabad

Rayudu, who announced his retirement after being ignored for the 2019 World Cup, wrote to Prof Ratnakar Shetty of the BCCI

India's MS Dhoni, left, and Ambati Rayudu celebrate the wicket of New Zealand's James Neesham during their fifth one day international at Westpac Stadium in Wellington
India's MS Dhoni, left, and Ambati Rayudu

Former India batsman Ambati Rayudu has expressed his willingness to come out of retirement and represent Hyderabad in all three formats, a little less than two months after he drew curtains on his cricketing career.

Rayudu, who announced his retirement after being ignored for the 2019 World Cup, wrote to Prof Ratnakar Shetty of the BCCI, who is also one of the members of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), expressing his willingness to play for Hyderabad again.

"Ambati Rayudu has conveyed his desire to withdraw his earlier decision of retirement and made himself available for HCA in all formats of the game," Shetty told PTI over phone on Friday.

The 33-year old cricketer had sent an e-mail to HCA on Thursday, stating that he would like to come out of retirement and play in all formats for Hyderabad. He had also thanked Chennai Super Kings, India great VVS Laxman and Hyderabad selection committee chief Noel David for their support.

An emotional Rayudu had also stated that he had taken the retirement decision in haste.

Shetty said the decision taken by Rayudu was a hasty one and it was good that he has realised it and chosen to withdraw it now.

"I was surprised when he took the decision to retire which I feel was a hasty decision," Shetty, a veteran BCCI administrator, said.

He also said it was good that Rayudu had realised his mistake after being spoken to by senior players including former India star Laxman.

"It is good that he (Rayudu) has realised his mistake after being spoken to by senior players including VVS Laxman and has decided to withdraw his retirement decision," Shetty added.

"He has a lot of cricket left in him and his presence will help the youngsters in Hyderabad CA," the veteran administrator pointed out.

"Ambati (Rayudu) is known to me since 2000 when he was a part of the under-15 team and was a promising talent. It is good that he's back."

Meanwhile, Noel David said it would be a boon to have Rayudu back in the Hyderabad team and hoped he will do well for the state.

"It is great news for us. It will be a boon to have him back in the Hyderabad team. His experience and class will be of great advantage for us. He has always done well for us and we hope he will continue do so and lead from the front," David, a fomer India player said.

"Rayudu's presence in the team will be good for the younger players," he added.

Asked if Rayudu would be handed the reins of captaincy, David said: "... for me yes.. he will be the captain. But then there will be a discussion and after that a decision will be taken."

David said Rayudu had mentioned in his mail to HCA that he would be available to join the side from September 10, adding "we are looking forward to that."

The Hyderabad probables would also play some matches among themselves before the final squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy is picked, he added.

Rayudu had announced his decision to quit after Mayank Agarwal was chosen as replacement for an injured Shikhar Dhawan despite him being named as one of five stand-byes for the World Cup in England.

The Hyderabad and CSK batsman had also controversially put out a "3D" tweet apparently taking a dig at chief selector MSK Prasad for overlooking him and stating that Vijay Shankar had been picked for his three-dimensional skills (batting, bowling and fielding).

In 2018, Rayudu had announced his retirement from first-class cricket to focus on white ball cricket with the ICC World Cup in mind. He played the last of his 97 first-class games in November 2017.