Former India opener Gambhir retires from cricket
Former India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the age of 37.
Gambhir played almost 250 times for his country across all formats, including 58 Tests and 147 ODIs.
His Test appearances yielded 4,154 runs at an average of 41.95, although the two finest moments of his career came in limited-overs contests.
Gambhir struck 75 off 54 balls to inspire India to World Twenty20 glory in the 2007 decider against fierce rivals Pakistan, and his 97 helped see his nation home in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka.
The most difficult decisions are often taken with the heaviest of hearts.— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) December 4, 2018
And with one heavy heart, I’ve decided to make an announcement that I’ve dreaded all my life.
"I am here to share a thought which I have been contemplating. Well, I am here to share a thought which I have been contemplating and I dare say dreading," Gambhir said, in a long and emotional video message shared via his social media accounts.
"The thought has been with me day and night. It has travelled with me on flights like an irritable excess baggage. It has accompanied me to practice sessions, mocking like a menacing bowler. On certain other days it has made my dinner taste horrible.
"It slapped me hard when I got those three ducks in a row in the 2014 IPL. Then again when I had a dreadful tour to England the same year. In 2016 I was on my knees again. I was dropped after the Rajkot Test match against England.
"I was searching for my confidence in that deep, dark pit but I could only lay my hands on the same sharp, disturbing noise. It said the same: 'IT IS OVER GAUTI.'
"But once again I refused to pay attention. I wanted to beat this noise. Instead of getting knocked down, I punished my body even more. In these times your love and affection worked as steroids. I wanted to win again. I wanted to conquer again.
"The next Ranji Trophy game against Andhra will be my last in the sun. It is all coming to an end from where it started at Feroz Shah Kotla. As a batsman I have always valued timing. I know the time is just right. I am sure it's sweet as well. Goodbye and good luck."