"All about the mental side of things" - Dinesh Karthik reveals why he retired from IPL

Dinesh Karthik. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Dinesh Karthik. (Image Credits: Twitter)

Team India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has said he is in perfect physical condition to play professional cricket for another three years. However, the veteran feels he wouldn't be able to cope with the mental side of things.

With Karthik unlikely to play for the national side again, he also called it quits from his IPL career recently. The Tamil Nadu-born cricketer played his final IPL match this year against the Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Karthik said the Impact Player rule makes it easy for him to play longer and that he has never had to worry about his physical fitness. The 38-year-old elaborated:

"I think I am physically very much prepared to play for another three years. Especially with the Impact Player rule, it becomes that much easier. Touch wood, I have never missed a game because of an injury through my three decades. I've been blessed that way. I was never worried about my body or my fitness."
"It was all about the mental side of things, whether I'll be able to push as much in the lead-up to the tournament, whether if I don't play as many matches, will I be okay with it," he added.

When asked what kept him going after a poor IPL season last year, Karthik said he has always been "extremely motivated."

"I am internally very, very motivated. Intrinsically, extremely motivated and I've lived by the mantra that if you are the best, no one can stop you. I just believed if I get one chance, I should make the most of it. I never cribbed. I was always thinking like I got a chance but I missed it. I got a tournament here, but I probably could have done better in this match. And that kept me going," he said.

The right-handed batter hasn't missed a single season of IPL since its inception in 2008. With 257 matches, he is the joint (along with Rohit Sharma) second-most capped player in IPL history after MS Dhoni (264).

"I don't think it's sunk in yet" - Dinesh Karthik on his retirement

Dinesh Karthik. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Dinesh Karthik. (Image Credits: Twitter)

Karthik further suggested that family functions have kept him busy amid the feeling of retirement and recalled how nervous he was ahead of IPL 2024 against the Chennai Super Kings. He said:

"I don't think it's sunk in yet. There's lots happening in the house, there's a couple of weddings and all so I've been pretty busy with that. It's a tad bit emotional, a tad bit relief. In a way, I was mentally prepared for whenever it had to happen. But I was so much more prepared for 18th May."
"Once that part of the tournament was crossed, I was extremely elated and very, very happy and grateful. The 22nd came around pretty fast, but overall it was a mixed feeling of relief, emotion and the fact that it has all come to an end," he added.

The Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) endured another unsuccessful campaign this year.

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