Murali Vijay, 38, has announced his retirement from international cricket on Monday (January 30), saying he "will be exploring new opportunities in the world of cricket & the business side of it". The right-handed opener last played for India in December 2018.
Vijay, who made his international debut in 2008, went on to play 61 Tests, 17 ODIs and nine T20Is for India. The batter couldn't really ace the two white-ball formats at the international level but became an integral part of the Test set-up.
In a Test career that lasted over 10 years, Vijay slammed 3982 runs at an average of 38.28, studded with 12 centuries and 15 fifties.
“Today, with immense gratitude and humility, I announce my retirement from all forms of international cricket. My journey from 2002 to 2018 has been the most wonderful years of my life (and) it was an honour representing India at the highest level of sport,” said Vijay.
"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.
"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. To cricket fans that have supported me through the ups and downs of international sport, will forever cherish the moments I spent with you all and your support has always be a source of motivation for me.
"I am excited to announce that I will be exploring new opportunities in the world of cricket and 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."
The cricketing world got to witness the best version of Vijay in 2014 and 2015, especially in overseas Tests. India toured England and Australia in that time frame and Vijay smashed 1164 runs in 13 overseas Tests at an average of 46.56, decorated with three hundreds and seven half-centuries.
Vijay was one of India's most prolific run-getters in Test cricket from 2013 to 2017 but then came the dip in form in 2018. In eight Tests, Vijay managed only 282 runs at an average of less than 19 and was soon dropped from the side.
Recently talking to former India batter WV Raman on Wednesdays With WV, a weekly show on Sportstar, Vijay had hinted that he will be looking for opportunities outside India. "After 30 in India, it's a taboo. I think people see us as 80-year-olds walking on street," said Vijay.
"The media should also address it differently. I feel you are peaking in your 30s. Sitting here right now, I feel I can bat the best way I can. But, unfortunately, the opportunities were less, and I had to search for chances outside. I honestly feel as a person, you can only do what's in your hand. You can't control the uncontrollable. Whatever happened, happened."
Fondly known as the Monk, Vijay also hasn't played for Tamil Nadu since December 2019, while his last IPL appearance came in September 2020.