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‘Rayudu should have played the 2019 World Cup’: Anil Kumble reflects on Ambati Rayudu treatment in the Indian team


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Anil Kumble and Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu recently called his time on a brilliant Indian Premier League (IPL) career. The right-handed batter had a fairytale ending in the tournament as he retired from the world’s biggest cricket league by lifting the league title for the sixth time. Notably, Rohit Sharma is the only other player to have won the IPL trophy as many times as Rayudu.

Although Rayudu ended his IPL career on a grand note, his India career didn’t conclude well. The 37-year-old cricketer abruptly announced his departure from all forms of international cricket after getting snubbed by the Indian management at the last moment and not finding a place in the team’s squad for the 2019 ODI World Cup.

It is worth mentioning that Rayudu was backed for a brief period of time as the Indian team’s no. 4 position batter ahead of the 2019 world cup event, and he almost cemented the spot with his impressive performances. Rayudu played 21 ODI’s in those six months and 639 runs, including one century and four fifties. However, despite him scoring consistent runs, the management went with inexperienced all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Disappointed with the decision, Rayudu announced his retirement later that year.

The decision by the management to choose Shankar over Rayudu was heavily criticized by many veteran Indian cricketers and fans back then, as India couldn’t win the ICC event and were eliminated in the semi-final.

The wounds have once again been scratched as the legendary India spinner Anil Kumble talked about the incident during the farewell IPL match of Rayudu and called out the then India team management for their poor treatment of a talented player. Speaking on Jio Cinema, Kumble said that it was a big blunder not to include Rayudu in the 2019 World Cup team.

“Rayudu should have played the 2019 World Cup. Oh yes, there’s no doubt about it. It was a huge blunder. You prepared him for that role for so long and his name just disappears from the squad. It was surprising nonetheless,” said Kumble.

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