Former India fast-bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji has announced his retirement from all forms of the game including the ongoing Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). The 35-year old was part of the defending champions Albert TUTI Patriots team. The news was confirmed by a press release from the franchise which also stated that S. Aravind will replace Balaji in the squad.
Balaji, meanwhile, said that though he would not play anymore he will still remain connected with the game.
“I have not retired; I am still part of the support staff aspect. I have not missed the game,” Balaji said.” Because the game has been pulling me and I am enjoying my game.”
The right-arm pacer, who is known for his heroics during India’s historic tour of Pakistan in 2003-04, had a very short career at the international level due to injuries. However, he was one of the most consistent performers in the domestic circuit where he represented Tamil Nadu for over fifteen years before announcing his retirement last year.
Balaji retired only two years after making his Test debut in 2003. Overall, he played eight Tests and took 27-wickets. He also played 30 ODIs and 5 T20Is, picking up 34 and 10 wickets respectively. However, his record in first-class cricket is very impressive where he claimed 330 scalps in 106 matches at 26.10.
He enjoyed a good outing in the Indian Premier League where he represented Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, winning the IPL title with the Super Kings and the Knight Riders. He has also served as the bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders.