Murali Vijay bids farewell to international cricket

The Indian opener announced his on-field retirement via a statement, confirming also that he would remain connected to the sport via different means. 
 
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Murali Vijay has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket for India. The experienced Tamil Nadu batter confirmed the development on Monday (January 30) afternoon, stating that he is looking to "explore new opportunities" in the game. 

Vijay indicated he could be joining the "business side of it" by potentially indulging in broadcasting and support staff duties in leagues, especially the IPL, where he represented multiple franchises and built a healthy fanbase at one stage with his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) association. 

Despite his recent comment on the selectors, where he criticised their general treatment of ageing players that get sidelined by the younger ones being prefered across formats, Vijay said he is grateful for the support provided by the BCCI top brass during his tenure with the Indian side and is equally thankful of the TNCA and CSK management. 

Murali Vijay retires from top-flight cricket 

"Today, with immense gratitude & humility, I announce my retirement from all forms of International cricket," Vijay said in a statement issued over his official Twitter handle. "My journey from 2002-2018 has been the most wonderful years of my life for it was was an honour representing India at the highest level of sport."

"I am grateful for the opportunities given to me by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), Chennai Super Kings and Chemplast Sanmar," he added. 

"To all my team-mates, coaches, mentors and support staff: It has been an absolute privilege to have played with you all, and, I thank you all for helping turn my dream into reality."

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By and large a unfulfilled talent, Vijay still managed to retain a decent fanbase in his favour, especially the time when he emerged as India's solid opening batter during the 2013-15 overseas cycle in an in-transition side led by MS Dhoni. 

From the start of the trip to South Africa in late 2013 until the home series against Sri Lanka in late 2017, Vijay made 2,592 runs at an average just shy of 44 while scoring 8 hundreds and 12 half-centuries - a phase where he cemented his spot as India's first-choice Test opener. 

"To cricket fans that have supported me through the ups & downs of international sport, I will forever cherish the moments | spent with you all and your support has always be a source of motivation for me."

"Lastly, I would like to thank my family & friends for their unconditional love and support throughout my career. They have been my backbone and without them, I would not have been able to achieve what I have today."

"I am excited to announce that I will be exploring new opportunities in the world of cricket & the business side of it, where I will also continue to participate in the sport that I love and challenge myself in new and different environments. I believe that this is the next step in my journey as a cricketer and I look forward to this new chapter in my life."

"I wish all my former teammates and the Indian cricket team all the best for their future endeavours. Thank you for all the memories," he added. 

Vijay's fall from the pedestal began from next cycle of tours he underwent from the beginning of 2018 to the start of 2019, averaging only 18.80 over 15 innings during the season, where he got dropped after two Tests in England and was ultimately removed from the side following the tour of Australia. That was effectively a sad end to a career that promised so much.