Search This Blog

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Robin Uthappa calls it a day !!

He was a flamboyant Cricketer, robust  build, can field well – can keep, will score runs at fast pace .. .. .. and remembered for a ball, which was not delivered to any batsman, but got him a Wicket !! (though officially he never got a wicket in International Cricket !)


Robin Uthappa, one among the integral members  of MS Dhoni led  2007 World T20 winning Indian team, once revealed that he battled clinical depression and suicidal thoughts for nearly two years during his career, a phase when cricket was perhaps the only thing that kept him from "jumping off a balcony". The big-hitting top-order batsman, represented India in 46 ODIs and 13 T20 Internationals, was picked by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 3 crore in 2020  IPL; this year CSK picked him up at the base price of Rs.2 crore.   

In a well-worded statement – Uthappa announced that he is retiring from all types of Cricket .. his statement reads :  It has been my greatest honour to represent my country and my state, Karnataka. However, all good things must come to an end, and with a grateful heart, I have decided to retire from all forms of Indian cricket.  

He has had his moments of up and downs – for example in 2014,  he mustered only 96 in 5 innings , at an average of 19.40 and a strike rate of 108.98 in the first leg at UAE as KKR did rather badly.... back in homeland Uthappa was on a roll scoring  392 runs in the India, when no other batsmen managed to score even 300 runs. In April this year, after Ruturaj scoring 17; Mooen was out for 3 – it was 36/2 in 6.4 then 201/3 in 18.5 – in between Shivam Dube massacred and on 94 could get only a single off the last ball scoring 95 off 46 with 8 sixers, while Robin Uthappa excelled making 88 off 50 with 9 sixers ! – it was another day for CSK fan.    

Cricket fans would ever remember that Group D match in -  ICC World Twenty20 at Durban, played on Sep 14 2007  !  ~ if not for the date or otherwise, for the result and more so, for the manner perhaps !! – Super Over and Dhoni’s ingenuity in asking Harbhajan, Sehwag and Uthappa to bowl and standing close to the stumps did the trick beating Pak 3-0.   The wily Dhoni nominated not the regulars but -  Sehwag, Uthappa, Sreesanth, Pathan and Harbhajan. For Pak it was to be -  Gul, Tanvir, Arafat, Afridi and Asif.  First Sehwag ran in bowled and hit the stump accurately………… for Pak Yasir Arafat bowled a full toss and missed the Off stump by a big margin.  Harbhajan ran fast – disturbed the stumps and celebrated as if, he had befooled a great batsman … Umar Gul came off a shortened run up and missed the stumps…………. 3rd was Robin Uthappa,  we have you seen him bowl earlier ? ….. he was clean, took his cap off and celebrated…. Afridi fired down one on the leg side, missing the stumps by a huge margin …………… and it was India …  

In Cricket and in life, retirement does come and now Robin Uthappa has retired from all forms of international and Indian cricket. Uthappa has obtained a no-objection Certificate (NOC) from Kerala, the last state he played for in domestic cricket, and will be free to take up assignments in overseas T20 leagues and "charting a new phase in my life".  

Uthappa, a member of India's 2004 Under-19 World Cup team, made his international debut in 2006 and played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is, and was part of the team that lifted the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa. He also won several domestic titles with Karnataka and won the IPL twice: with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014 and with Chennai Super Kings in 2021.  

Uthappa, now 36, started his domestic career in 2002-03 with Karnataka and ended it with Kerala in the truncated 2020-21 season. He also represented Saurashtra during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. He has scored  9446 runs with 22 centuries  in 1st class;  he played all 15 seasons of the IPL and represented as many as six teams in the tournament: Super Kings, Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors India, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals. He amassed 4952 runs in 205 IPL games, striking at 130.35 and averaging 27.51.  

Back in 2014-15, Uthappa had a great Ranji run finishing as the national event's top run-getter.  Uthappa won the IPL twice - in 2014 (with Kolkata Knight Riders) and 2021 (with Chennai Super Kings). In 2014, Uthappa became only the second Indian to win the Orange Cap for tournament highest run-scorer, after Sachin Tendulkar (2010).  His father Venu Uthappa was a former Hockey umpire.    

In ODIs he debuted against England on Apr 15,2006 and scored a flashy 86 ! .. .. in his debut T20 match against Scotland in 2007 WC, he did not get to bat and then in the match against Pak top scored with a 50 before bowling that straight delivery hitting the wicket. 

Wishing him a peaceful retirement, remembering his exploits as thousands of fans recall his innings and feel bad about his calling a day (and that includes my son too!)


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Sept. 2022




No comments:

Post a Comment