S. Badrinath retires from all cricket

“It is the right time to take the call,” says the Tamil Nadu batting stalwart.

S. Badrinath (right) with L. Balaji at the TNCA Academy on Friday.   -  M. Vedhan

Tamil Nadu stalwart and former India batsman S. Badrinath announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday.

“It has certainly not been an easy decision. I have been pondering over it. But, having turned 38 [on Thursday], I have decided that it is the right time to take the call,” Badrinath declared at the TNCA Academy in Chennai on Friday.

Badrinath, a domestic heavyweight, has played 145 first-class matches, 144 List A matches and a 142 Twenty20s. His India sojourn has been modest in comparison; the two Tests he played were in 2010, during a home series against South Africa. He also represented India in eight limited-over internationals.

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Having made his first-class debut in the 2000-01 season, Badrinath, a top-order strokemaker in the classical mould, possesses 10,245 runs at an average of 54.49, with 32 centuries and 45 fifties. Talking about his domestic career, he said, “To be honest, my personal best season was 2010-11. I got to close about 1,300 runs and I was really batting at my best. It not about the number of runs I scored during the season, but I knew that I was really batting well.”

‘Dream come true’

Recollecting his first attraction towards a career in cricket — on a scooter ride with his father when he was a “young boy” — Badrinath felt his dream had come true. He admitted, “being here today is definitely a dream come true for me.”

“Whatever I am today, I owe it to this game,” he said.

Dhoni ‘the best captain’

Besides his State association, the TNCA, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Badrinath thanked his childhood coaches who played major roles in his career. He reserved a special word for his Indian Premier League club captain M. S. Dhoni. “I am thankful to skipper Dhoni, the best captain I have played under, and of course, the captain under whom I have played the maximum cricket (for the Chennai Super Kings).”

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L. Balaji, the fast bowler and former Tamil Nadu captain, had words of encouragement. He said, “Badri and I go back a long way back and I congratulate him on his wonderful career. We have played together for almost 20 years. I would like to wish him good luck in his future endeavours. Just like me — I’m into coaching now — he can also be a part of some [team] and can always contribute to the cause, which has given so much to us.”