New Delhi, June 14: Former India left-arm spinner Murali Kartik today announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The 37-year-old Kartik decided to call it quits from cricket with immediate effect, on Saturday.
Kartik was part of the Kings XI Punjab team in the recently concluded seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 7). He played his last competitive match, in IPL 7, against Chennai Super Kings on May 7, 2014. He also played for Kolkata Knight Riders, Pune Warriors and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In that game, he failed to take a wicket and finished with bowling figures of 0/40. Kings XI Punjab lost the IPL 7 final to Kolkata Knight Riders on June 1. His last first-class game was against Bengal, where he captained Railways in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final in January this year.
Kartik made his Test debut against South Africa in February, 2000. His last Test was against the same opponents in November 2004. The left-arm spinner played 8 Tests, 37 One Day Internationals and 1 Twenty20 International for India.
"I would like to thank my parents and wife Shweta for their support, my coaches MP Singh, Gurcharan Singh and the greatest motivator of all Bishan Singh Bedi. Not to forget the influence that Maninder Singh had on my career," said one of the premier left-arm spinners in the world.
Kartik also thanked BCCI's president-in-exile N Srinivasan as he first got a chance to play competitive cricket for India Cements.
"I would like to thank N Srinivasan sir and Kasi sir (Kashi Viswanthan) for giving a chance to play Buchi Babu as a teenager for Vijay Sports Club. My first captain VB Chandrasekhar who gave me a lot of confidence."
Asked about his high point in international cricket, Kartik said, "The Mumbai Test (match haul of 7/76) where I won the man-of-the-match award will always be special as we were able to restrict an Australian side chasing 103 (107). Also when Sachin presented me with my India Test cap and Kapil Paaji (then coach) presented the India hat."
Talking about his best captain, he said,"It's got to be Azzu bhai (Mohammed Azharuddin), who would tell you that as a bowler, you should be knowing what to do rather than me telling you."
He profusely thanked Indian Railways as a team that had a lot of intent despite limitations.
"Winning the Ranji Trophy in 2001 gave us a lot of joy. We beat teams like Bengal and Tamil Nadu before beating Baroda in the final. We were defending a first-innings score of 270-odd and Baroda were over 100 for no loss. We won it from there and it was a special feeling.
"In Railways, we never had the facilities but we believed in each other and stood by one and another. Probably that's an ingredient that a learned man like Sanjay (Bangar) carried in his job when he decided to take up the Kings XI assignment," said Kartik, who will be seen more as a media pundit rather than getting into full fledged coaching role.
Yuvraj Singh praised Kartik for having played with "passion, pride and commitment". He tweeted: "Well bowled@kartikmurali Played with passion, pride and commitment Served Indian cricket for 26 years Farewell my brother U will be missed".
Well bowled@kartikmurali Played with passion, pride and commitment Served Indian cricket for 26 years Farewell my brother U will be missed— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) June 14, 2014
Kartik took 24 Test and 37 ODI wickets. His ODI debut came against Zimbabwe on March 16, 2002 in Hyderabad. His last ODI was against Pakistan in Jaipur on November 18, 2007.
His first-class career started in 1996-97 season. He took 644 wickets in 203 first-class matches. He was one of the pillars of Railways team in the domestic circuit.
Kartik, born in Madras (Chennai) on September 11, 1976, made numerous comebacks to the national side but was never a regular member with the presence of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh as the lead spinners.