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Rahul Dravid retires from international cricket

Rahul Dravid retires from international cricket

Posted Mar 09, 2012 by Imagine Cricket Team

BANGALORE, India (AP)  Rahul Dravid has announced his retirement from both international and domestic first-class cricket after a 16-year career that saw him acclaimed as one of the best batsmen of his era.

The 39-year-old made the announcement Friday at a media conference he addressed jointly with Board of Control for Cricket in India president Narainswamy Srinivasan.

"I would like to announce my retirement from test and domestic first-class cricket," Dravid said. "I've played for 16 years and it was time I moved on to give a chance to youngsters to take the team forward. I've had a wonderful time and thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to play for the country."

Dravid, who has already retired from one-day and Twenty20 cricket, scored five centuries in 2011 but could manage only 194 runs during India's recent 4-0 test whitewash in Australia.

Dravid has scored 13,228 runs in 164 tests with 36 centuries, and 10,889 runs in 344 one-dayers with 12 centuries. He also holds the record for most catches by a fielder in tests with a tally of 210.

"I was like every other boy in India, with a dream of playing for my country. Yet I could never have imagined a journey so long and so fulfilling. No dream is ever chased alone," he said.

Dravid, who is among a select band of players to have reached five-figure run career totals in both test and one-day cricket and was recognized for his performances by being named one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 2000 and ICC player of the year at the ICC's inaugural awards ceremony in 2004.

"He has been a great ambassador for the game and for India," Srinivasan said. "It is a sad day for me because I've seen him grow as a player."

Dravid's decision to retire seemed to have been hastened after he failed to pull India out of a recent eight-match losing streak in overseas tests in England and Australia, but he said it was a well contemplated decision.

"I did not take the decision based on what happened in recent series. I thought this was the time to go. It is a difficult moment, but it is a moment that has to come to everybody. I also know that in some ways it has been an easy decision," Dravid said.

Dravid, who captained India from 2005 to 2007, has an impeccable record as only one of his first 32 centuries in tests resulted in a loss for India, but India lost three of the four games that Dravid got centuries in later - all of them in England last year.

Dravid is expected to lead the Rajasthan Royals in this year's Twenty20 Indian Premier League.

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