Amaravati, Jan 6: Remember former cricketer Ambati Thirupathi Rayudu?
Well, no cricket fan can forget him so soon. He was a class act and a match winner too. Technique, temperament and spirit, he was very well equipped. Perhaps, despite a chequered career, he made his presence felt at whatever level he played cricket.
Yes, he is immensely talented, very capable. But perhaps could have achieved much more than what he did as a player.
His joining the Indian Cricket League (ICL) floated by Subhash Chandra, the Zee network boss in May 2007, did affect the initial phase of his career, when he was a much sought after player.
Let's not get into details of the ICL, but only keep in mind that Rayudu did suffer for joining the ICL, as he was barred by the BCCI from domestic cricket for a few years.
He had lot of ups and downs as a player. From ICL joining to World Cup selection snub, he has undergone a lot of unusual events. His career almost always fell apart after a very promising start.
No doubt, he was a rare cricketing talent. But his playing career was undone by a mercurial demeanour that often led to run-ins with authorities.
After not being picked for ODI World Cup 2019, he even announced his retirement. But later came out from retirement as well to lengthen his career.
Many might have thought that he would not be very effective in T20 format.But Chennai Super Kings captain and former Team India skipper M S Dhoni would definitely disagree with that. Even his tenures with Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans speak volumes about his IPL credentials.
Several cricket fans and his former IPL team managements would definitely speak very high of him as a player. In his latest stint with CSK, he was instrumental in several Chennai victories. But last year, with CSK winning the title, he quit Indian Premier League (IPL).
At international level, Rayudu played for India in 55 ODIs between 2014 and 2019, and six international T20 matches, and scored 1,694 runs, including three centuries and 10 fifties.
Well, an average Indian cricket fan might not have expected Rayudu to join politics. But after quitting cricket as a player, he made it clear that he is willing to perform in a different role. Ready to prove his mettle on 'tricky political pitch' in 'unfamiliar conditions'. That was a brave decision.
He is of course not the first Indian cricketer to do that. So, it was only a matter of time how, when and with which party he would associate himself and what role would be offered to him.
Last month, he joined the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). But 10 days after entering politics, on Saturday Rayudu announced his resignation from the party. He even surprised many by stating he would quit politics as well.
He posted on 'X' that he will stay out of politics for a while. He did not give any reasons for his decision.
"This is to inform everyone that I have decided to quit the YSRCP Party and stay out of politics for a little while. Further action will be conveyed in due course of time," Ambati Rayudu posted.
He had joined Andhra Pradesh's ruling party on December 28. YSRCP president and Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had welcomed him into the party.
It was in April this year that the stylish middle-order batsman had decided to enter politics. He declared that he wants to serve people. He, however, was keeping political parties in both the Telugu states under suspense on which party he would join.
He had a couple of meetings with Jagan Mohan Reddy in May-June but remained tight-lipped about his political move.
The cricketer, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, had finally ended the suspense by joining YSRCP.
There was a buzz in political circles that he may contest Andhra Pradesh Assembly or Lok Sabha polls, slated to be held in April-May next year. (With IANS support)