India cricketer V.R. Vanitha on Monday announced her retirement from all forms of cricket at the age of 31. Vanitha informed about the decision to retire from cricket in a post through her Twitter and Instagram accounts.
“19 years ago, when I started playing cricket, I was just a little girl who loved sport. Even to this day, my love for cricket remains the same. What’s changing is direction. My heart says continue playing, my body says stop and I’ve decided to listen to the latter. Time is ripe to hang my boots. I hereby announce my retirement from all forms of cricket. It’s been a journey of struggles, joy, heartbreak, learning and personal milestones,” wrote Vanitha.
“While there are a few regrets, I’m grateful for the opportunities I got, especially to represent India. Along the way, there have been many people I want to thank, each and everyone who has supported me through these years -My parents and siblings who have been a rock by my side, Irian sir who guided me, honed my skills in my early years, Naz bhai who spent several hours at nets watching over me,” added Vanitha.
Vanitha made her international debut in an ODI against Sri Lanka in January 2014. She went on to represent India in six ODIs and 16 T20Is, scoring 85 and 216 runs, averaging 17 and 14.40 respectively. Vanitha was a part of India’s squad during the 2016 Women’s T20 World Cup at home, where the hosts’ failed to reach the semi-finals.
“Murli Sir my now coach and the man who has always made me look at the bright side of things, Varun my mentor, brother, he inculcated in me to view fitness holistically. Anand date trainer at NCA, Rohan my trainer at Invictus. Shantha Ma’am and Kalpana Ma’am for giving me a platform and opportunities to perform.”
Vanitha went on to thank ODI captain Mithali Raj and pacer Jhulan Goswami for their guidance. “Dilip Anna who is more my brother than my own helping with cricket and life. Gargi Maam for opening new horizons to me, Jhulan for encouraging me from time to time and Mithali, she will always be my skipper! I look up to her, both on and off the field. Her humility, grace and respect for everyone are life lessons.”
In domestic cricket, Vanitha represented her home state Karnataka before making a switch to Bengal ahead of the current domestic season. Vanitha was last seen captaining Aryan Club in the inaugural edition of Bengal Women’s T20 Blast, a league organised by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). She had played a crucial role in Bengal reaching the semi-finals of the Senior Women’s One-day Trophy, scoring 225 runs in six innings at an average of 37.50.
“I would also like to thank my State associations — Karnataka State Cricket Association and Cricket Association of Bengal, its office bearers, state captains, coaches, S&Cs, physiotherapists, ground-staff and people who believe in women’s cricket. Lastly, I want to thank my Karnataka teammates with whom I have memories of a lifetime.”
“Cricket has given me everything, friendships, joys, identity and memories that I will cherish forever. The next chapter of my life I would like to dedicate to grooming young talents in Cricket This is not the end but a beginning of a new challenge. Au revoir!” concluded Vanitha.