Former India and Karnataka seamer Vinay Kumar has announced his retirement from all forms of competitive cricket, bringing an end to a career that spanned close two decades.
The fast bowler took to his official Twitter account to share the news. He attached a document where he thanked the Karnataka Cricket Association, the various Indian Premier League franchises that he represented over the years, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and the various clubs that give him an opportunity to play during the course of his career.
The ‘Davangere Express’, as he was endearingly called, also expressed his gratitude towards his parents, his wife Richa and his friends for their unrelenting support throughout his career.
Vinay Kumar captioned the post as:
“Thankyou all for your love and support throughout my career. Today I hang up my boots. 🙏🙏❤️ #ProudIndian”
— Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) February 26, 2021
As far as his career is concerned, Vinay Kumar, who was a hit-the-seam kind of a bowler, quickly rose through the ranks following his brilliant performances in domestic cricket since making his debut for Karnataka in 2004-05.
The 2007-08 season proved to be a path-breaking one for Kumar as he finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy. His performance ensured that he earned an IPL contract with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2008.
It kept getting better and better for Vinay Kumar as another brilliant season with the ball in 2009/10 Ranji Trophy helped him earn a call-up to the national team for the ICC T20 World Cup 2010 in the Caribbean.
Kumar was then picked up for the ODI series in the West Indies in 2011 following a good season with the newly formed Kochi Tuskers in the IPL.
The Karnataka seamed endured a forgettable Test debut during the 2011/12 tour of Australia where he was taken to the cleaners by David Warner in Perth. His Test outing did not have a bearing on his T20 form and fortunes though as he finished as RCB’s leading wicket-taker in consecutive seasons after having bagged a million-dollar contract with the franchise ahead of the 2012 season.
His international career, however, came to an end following the T20I and ODI series against Australia in October 2013 after he was heavily criticized for his death bowling.
Vinay Kumar, however, continued to be a dominant force in domestic and IPL cricket. He led from the front with both ball and ball to help his state clinch another Ranji title and two other major domestic titles. His performances once again helped him bag an IPL contract, this time with the Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the 2014 season.
His best performance of the season came against his former franchise RCB when he defended nine runs off the last over. KKR eventually won the title and Kumar literally swept all the major titles that year.
Under his leadership, Karanataka completed a famous treble (Vijay Hazare + Syed Mushtaq + Ranji Trophy) for the second consecutive year. He was picked by the Mumbai Indians ahead of the 2015 IPL and his presence proved to be auspicious as MI bagged their second title.
His 3 years of purple patch eventually came to an end and following questions around his form and leadership, he passed the baton of leading Karnataka to Manish Pandey and migrated to Puducherry. His last IPL outing came against the Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 season.
As far as his domestic numbers are concerned, Vinay Kumar claimed 504, 225, and 194 wickets in 139 FC, 141 List A, and 181 T20s respectively. He also scored close to 5000 runs across all three formats in domestic cricket.
He also featured in 105 IPL games in which he claimed 105 wickets at an average of 28.25 and an economy of 8.39. Kumar represented India in 1 Tests, 31 ODIs, and 9 T20s and claimed a total of 49 wickets.