New Delhi: The flamboyant Virender Sehwag, one of the world's most destructive batsmen to have played the game, today announced his retirement from international cricket and the Indian Premier League bringing an end to an illustrious career spanning over a decade.
Sehwag, celebrating 37th birthday today, had already hinted about his imminent retirement at a function in Dubai yesterday and he took barely a few hours to make it official.
"I hereby retire from all forms of international cricket and from the Indian Premier League. A statememnt will follow," the former Indian opener tweeted.
Sehwag's decision comes only three days after one of his contemporaries Zaheer Khan decided to call time on his career.
He later made a detailed statement on his retirement.
On Monday, report of Sehwag's retirement went viral after he announced his availability for inaugural Masters Champions League in Dubai. As the league's first edition is to be played next year and only retired players are eligible to play, it was obvious for others to consider a form of announcement.
Sehwag, who was present at the launch ceremony of Masters Champions League in Dubai alongside Brian Lara, Graeme Smith and Azhar Mahmood replied to a question saying if I am not retired I will not play. I will go back to India and announce my retirement.”
Following the statement, the news went viral that he has already retired, the explosive batsman later clarified that he was mulling the possibility of retirement.
MCL is supposed to be played in February next year, which means that Sehwag who currently captains Haryana in Ranji trophy, will complete his commitments with Haryana before joining the veterans' league.
One of the most destructive batsmen of the Indian cricket, Sehwag has 8,273 runs in 251 matches with 15 centuries and 38 fifties at an average of 35.05. He became only the second batsman to score a double century in ODIs when he hit 219 runs against West Indies.
In a glorious international career spanning over 15 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 319 against Pakistan at Multan, which also is an Indian record. He is also one of those rare batsmen to have scored two triple ton with his next one (309) coming against South Africa.
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.
(With inputs from agencies)