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Dinesh Karthik bows out after an illustrious and multifaceted career

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Former India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik on June 1 announced his retirement from all forms of competitive cricket after two decades of playing for the country. 

Former India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik on June 1 announced his retirement from all forms of competitive cricket after two decades of playing for the country. 
| Photo Credit: Getty Images

Indian cricket’s seemingly eternal man finally hung his boots. Add wicket-keeping gloves and a blistering bat too while the commentator’s microphone, immediately, and perhaps a coaching assignment, later, beckon.

On Saturday, Dinesh Karthik posted his retirement note on social media, telling the world that it is time for him to bow out while recording his gratitude to all who supported him, be it family or the cricketing eco-system.

  

Having turned out for India for the first time in 2004, he kept weaving in and out of the squad, both in whites and the blue shade until the final tilt in 2022.

The numbers may never fully tell his tale but to be a wicket-keeper batter with a long career coinciding with M.S. Dhoni, Parthiv Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant, at different points, is a testimony to Karthik’s desire to constantly excel and be ready for selection.

He even turned out as a pure batter. If it was the orthodox opener role in Tests during the initial phase, the metamorphosis to becoming the dashing finisher, revealed Karthik’s desire to push the wheel and reinvent.

A regular presence in the Indian Premier League since its inception from 2008, Karthik found a glorious tail-wind with the Royal Challengers Bengaluru, a franchise and fan-base that embraced him as their own. The statistics of 26 Tests, 94 ODIs and 60 T20Is with a cumulative yield of 3463 International runs, 151 catches and 21 stumpings besides his quality duty for Tamil Nadu, are nuggets that perhaps may not fully display what Karthik meant for the squads he turned up.

He proved to be a bridge between the Sachin Tendulkar generation and the current one with Jasprit Bumrah leading the charge.

There was the dismissal of Michael Vaughan, body airborne and the stumps whipped off, there was the fiery winning cameo in the Nidahas Trophy final, and in all this Karthik remained busy, always finding a way to cheer up his team-mates.

A hyper-energetic presence in his early days, the fidgety streak gradually ebbed away as both his cricket and words acquired depth.

As an adolescent playing age-group zonal cricket in Bengaluru, thanks to the National Cricket Academy, he was egged on by his mother, arriving from Chennai in a car and keeping an eye on her son.

He always had the buzz and now as he retires as an ICC Twenty20 2007 winner, the world is again his stage. At 39, he will deal with it in words as a commentator, while his former team-mates belt out the sixes.





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