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By Behindwoods News Bureau | Dec 05, 2018 10:02 AM
Gautam Gambhir announces retirement from all forms of cricket

Former Indian opener and World Cup hero Gautam Gambhir has decided to call time on his career as a cricketer. The left-hander took to Twitter last night to announce his retirement from all formats of the game.

“The most difficult decisions are often taken with the heaviest of hearts. And with one heavy heart, I've decided to make an announcement that I've dreaded all my life,” Gambhir wrote on Twitter. He also decided to share a video message along with the post on both Twitter and Facebook.

"Delhi's next Ranji Trophy game against Andhra, beginning on December 6 will be my last day in the sun. It is coming to an end where it all started at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground," Gambhir said in the more than 11-minute long video post. This means that the left-hander will not be a part of the upcoming edition of IPL.

"It is over Gauti. So here I am, after more than 15 years of cricket for my country, I want to retire from playing this beautiful game. Despite all the aches and pains, fears and failures I won't mind a repeat of this in my next life too. But obviously with a few more wins for India, a few more hundreds and in my next life may be a few 5-wicket hauls as well," said an emotional Gambhir.

"This may sound a little wishful but then I have seen wishes do come true. Two World Cups, highest run-getter in finals of both these games is a stuff dreams are made of and I only had this dream of winning the World Cup for you all. I think someone up there was writing my script but looks like now he has ran out of his ink!

"But along the way he wrote some fascinating chapters. Somewhere on the top is being part of the number one Test team in the world. A trophy that I look at very fondly is the one that I got for being awarded ICC Test batsman of the year in 2009. For a purist like me it is a reward of somewhat knowing where my off stump was."

Considered one of the most successful batsmen for India, Gambhir made 58 Test appearances for India, accumulating 4154 runs at an average of 41.95. His 147 ODI games fetched 5238 runs, while in 37 T20 Internationals, he scored 932 runs.

"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 at me like a menacing bowler. On certain other days, it has made my dinner taste horrible," Gambhir said, elaborating on his thought process leading up to his decision.

"At some stage, I would like to shed the retired cricketer's tag and would like to recycle myself to be useful for something else in cricket and beyond. Let's see," he added.