India’s seasoned batsman Robin Uthappa announced his retirement from all cricket-related activities on Wednesday. One of the most daring Indian batsmen of his era verified the news online in a lengthy, moving statement. A 20-year career for Uthappa, who played for India in both ODIs and T20Is and was renowned for his attacking style, came to an end. Uthappa won the World Cup in 2007 throughout these 20 years. Uthappa, who created the winning moment and bow down in a sight for the ages during the epic bowl-out victory against Pakistan in 2007, was actually a part of one of the most famous moments in Indian cricket that very day in 2007.
“It has been my greatest honour to represent my country and my state, Karnataka. However, all good things must come to an end, and with a grateful heart, I have decided to retire from all forms of Indian cricket,” he tweeted. “It’s been 20 years since I started playing professional cricket, and it has been the greatest honour to represent my country and state, Karnataka – a wonderful journey full of ups and downs; one that has been fulfilling, rewarding, enjoyable and has allowed me to grow as a human being,” read Uthappa’s text.
Robin Uthappa ends a great career that began in 2006 in an ODI matchup against England in Guwahati. Uthappa made a stunning, stroke-filled 86 in his debut to make a grand entrance. It was the kind of performance that led people to think that he would be around for the long haul, but it wasn’t to be. Between 2006 and 2015, he participated in 45 more ODIs and just 13 T20Is, amassing 1183 runs and hitting seven half-centuries.
At the Oval in 2007, Uthappa’s innings of 47 not out off 33 balls, which he used to help India beat England in a 316-run chase, is considered to be one of his most illustrious performances. A few months later, Uthappa was essential to India’s victory over Australia in the CB series final in 2008 when he and Sachin Tendulkar opened the innings and put up partnerships of 50 and 94 runs in each of the first two finals in Sydney and Melbourne. The same series saw a brazen Uthappa walk down the wicket and slap Brett Lee over the top of him for a huge six.
In his previous ODI match, which was against Zimbabwe in 2015, he made a 44-ball 31. Uthappa continued to play in domestic matches and the Indian Premier League for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, and Chennai Super Kings, but his time with KKR will always stand out as the most memorable.
For KKR, Uthappa scored a lot of points. Uthappa was in excellent form the two years that KKR won the IPL, amassing 405 runs in 2012 and a huge 660 runs two years later in 2014. Despite never scoring a century, Uthappa averaged at least 350 runs per season between 2012 and 2018, and he crossed the 50-run threshold 27 times (the eighth-most 50-plus scores by an Indian in the IPL). Seasons 2014 and 2017 saw five of these scores, respectively.
Uthappa gave KKR and CSK a particular mention, saying, “A special mention to KKR & CSK for all the amazing experiences and support my family and I received throughout my time with them – something I will always treasure.”
Uthappa is now the eighth-highest run-scorer of all time with 4952 runs from 205 IPL games with a strike rate of 130.35. After Suresh Raina and Uthappa both announced their retirement from Indian cricket, the senior hitter may now focus on other endeavours, including as competing in T20 leagues throughout the world.