NEW DELHI, Oct 20: The flamboyant Virender Sehwag, one of the world�s most destructive batsmen to have played the game, today announced his retirement from international cricket and the Indian Premier League, bringing an end to an illustrious career spanning 14 years.
Sehwag had already hinted about his imminent retirement at a function in Dubai yesterday and chose his 37th birthday today to put an end to his amazing career and said he was grateful to have done things his way.
�I have always done what I felt was right and not what conformists thought to be right. God has been kind and I have done what I wanted to do � on the field and in my life. And I had decided some time back that I will retire on my 37th birthday. So today, while I spend my day with my family, I hereby announce my retirement from all forms of International Cricket and from the Indian Premier League,� Sehwag said in a statement.
�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 team mates and the Indian cricket fans. I believe that I was reasonably successful in doing so.
�For that, I wish to thank all my team mates over the years - some of the greatest players of the game. 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,� he added.
In a glorious international career spanning 14 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 a 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 tons 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 ODI World Cup in India.
The decision to retire comes after Sehwag signed up to play in the next year�s Masters Champions League 2020, where only retired cricketers can play. Sehwag was unveiled at the launch ceremony of the veterans 2020 league in Dubai.
The move also comes barely a few days after one of his contemporaries Zaheer Khan decided to call time on his career. Sehwag had not been in the Indian team since 2013 and had not been in the reckoning either. � PTI