Venugopal Rao retires from all forms of cricket
(FASTNEWS|COLOMBO) – Former India and Andhra batsman Venugopal Rao has announced his decision to retire from all forms of the game. The 37-year-old played the last of his 16 One-Day Internationals in May 2006, finishing with a solitary half-century – a combative 61 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
It was in the first class circuit that Venugopal made early waves, smashing a career-best 228 not-out against England A thereby helping South Zone overhaul a fourth-innings target of 501 – the fifth highest successful chase in a first class game. That innings at Gurgaon in 2004 against an attack featuring Simon Jones, Sajid Mahmood and James Tredwell put him on the national radar and earned him an ODI debut against Sri Lanka in July 2005.
A technically sound batsman, Venugopal made his first class debut for Andhra aged 16 during the 1998-99 season, a year before he went on to lift the Under-19 World Cup alongside future India cricketers Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh. Venugopal went on to skipper Andhra before shifting bases to Gujarat in 2012. He returned to Andhra to end his career with his home team, making the last of his 121 first class appearances in a Ranji Trophy clash against Tamil Nadu in October 2017. He finishes with 7081 first class runs at an average of 40.93 including 17 hundreds.
Venugopal also played 65 IPL games for Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad between 2008 and 2014 and was part of the title-winning Chargers team in 2009.