Ambati Rayudu likely to play for Baroda next season

Chennai Super Kings middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu is likely to play for Baroda in the forthcoming domestic season. The Indian Express understands that the former India player is in talks with the Baroda Cricket Association and has expressed willingness to play for the team next season.

Rayudu represented Baroda for four seasons earlier in his career when he was picked for India in 2013. The 36-year-old is expected to join the Baroda preparatory camp in June.

“Baroda has decided to rope him in as he has expressed his willingness to play for the team. The team is already looking for Deepak Hooda’s replacement,” a BCA official said. Hooda has moved to Rajasthan, after a spat with Baroda captain Krunal Pandya last year.

Rayudu played for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League this season and had an average season. Last week, he had announced his retirement from the IPL, but later deleted the tweet. “I am happy to announce that this will be my last IPL. I have had a wonderful time playing it and being a part of 2 great teams for 13 years,” Rayudu had tweeted.

“Would love to sincerely thank Mumbai Indians and CSK for the wonderful journey.” This was not the first time Rayudu announced his retirement before changing his mind. When he was not picked for the 2019 ODI World Cup, he had announced his retirement but reversed the decision and came back to play in the IPL.

In 2018, Rayudu retired from first-class cricket to focus on the shorter formats. And the plan seemed to be working as he made it to the India ODI team that was searching for a No. 4. Even that wasn’t easy though — he made the cut after clearing the yo-yo fitness test on the second attempt.

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