The former Andhra Pradesh captain Venugopal Rao has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect. Rao also represented India in 16 ODIs during 2005 and 2006.

Rao bids farewell to cricket

Venugopal Rao made his first-class debut at a very tender age of 16, with his state side Andhra during the 1998-99 season. He impressed everyone with his, technically sound, batting and cemented a place in the side. As his career progressed, he improved his limited-overs batting. He was a part of the U19 India squad in 2000 making a mark of himself on a bigger stage. His ability to score big and that too consistently meant he was not far from India debut.

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Venugopal Rao.

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The all-rounder made his ODI debut in 2005 against Sri Lanka and was given a good run that year. Venugopal Rao also toured to the UAE to play against Pakistan the next year but was unable to replicate his efforts for the Men in Blues. He managed to score only 241 runs from 16 ODIs including a fifty against Pakistan in the UAE. Rao’s last ODI came against West Indies in 2006, and with young players coming, the selectors didn’t call him ever again.

In the IPL, Venugopal Rao was with the Deccan Chargers from 2008 to 2010 before moving to Delhi Daredevils (now known as Delhi Capitals) in 2011. He played only a handful of games before the franchise released him in 2013 before Sunrisers Hyderabad picked in 2014 where he played a few games.

Venugopal Rao. Credit: PTI

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Venugopal Rao has represented Andhra and Gujarat in the domestic circuit and averages 40 in first-class cricket including 17 hundreds. He also has 11 List A centuries to his name and was in good form for Gujarat where he played his last spell of cricket.