Putting an end to the ever-growing speculations, Virender Sehwag, one of India's greatest cricketers, on 20 October announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket and from the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sehwag took to Twitter and made the announcement on a day when he also turned 37. The right-hander had dropped hints that he will draw curtains on his international career soon as he confirmed his participation in next year's Masters Champions League (MCL), where only retired cricketers can play.
I hereby retire from all forms of international cricket and from the Indian Premier League. A statement will follow.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 20, 2015
He also tweeted a two-page long letter while thanking his fellow teammates and highlighting his journey in Indian cricket. "Cricket has been my life and continues to be so. Playing for India was a memorable journey and I tried to make it more memorable for my teammates and the Indian cricket fans. I believe that I was reasonably successful in doing so. For that, I wish to thank all my teammates over the years - some of the greatest players of the game.
My message. pic.twitter.com/al07Y5PsYF— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 20, 2015
I would like to thank all my Captains who believed in me and backed me to the hilt. I also thank our greatest partner, the Indian cricket fan for all the love, support and memories," Sehwag wrote. The 'Nawab of Najafgarh' also thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Haryana Cricket Association (HCA) and his IPL teams.
Sehwag's decision comes only three days after one of his contemporaries Zaheer Khan decided to call time on his career. In a glorious international career spanning over 12 years, Sehwag played 104 Tests scoring 8586 runs at an impressive average of 49.34, hitting 23 centuries and 32 half-centuries.
He is the only triple centurion in Tests for India having scored career-best knock of 319 against Pakistan at Multan, which also is an Indian record. He is also one of those rare batsmen to have scored two triple ton with his next one (309) coming against South Africa.
In 251 ODIs, he accumulated 8273 runs at an average of 35.05 and scored 15 hundreds apart from hitting 38 fifties.
In 19 Twenty20 Internationals, he managed 394 runs with two half-centuries.
He has been a part of two World Cup winning teams under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership - 2007 World T20 in South Africa and the ICC Cricket World Cup in India.
MCL is supposed to be played in February 2016, which means that Sehwag will complete his Ranji Trophy commitments with Haryana before joining the veterans' league.