MP domestic stalwart calls time on his career
He is the third highest run-scorer in the history of the Ranji Trophy, behind Wasim Jaffer and one less than second-placed Amol Muzumdar.
Updated - Apr 1, 2018 2:16 pm
Devendra Bundela, the 41-year-old Madhya Pradesh cricketer, announced his retirement from first-class cricket, on Saturday. The right-handed batsman, who also captained MP for seven years, ended his illustrious first-class career with 10,004 runs at a healthy average of 43.68 and as the most capped player in the Ranji Trophy history and its third highest run-getter with 9168 runs.
The veteran batsman first came into the limelight when he was selected to play for India Under 19 against Australia Under 19 side in 1995. He then made his first-class debut against Tamil Nadu during the 1995-96 season. In the 1996-97 Ranji Trophy quarter-final game against Bengal, he essayed his maiden first-class hundred. Bundela also was an integral part of the Madhya Pradesh set-up that reached the final of the Ranji Trophy in 1998-99, only to lose the summit clash against Karnataka.
Most capped Ranji player
He registered his highest individual score of 188 versus Railways during the 2016-17 Ranji season. In 2016, the 41-year-old had broken the record of most number of appearances in Ranji Trophy, surpassing that of Amol Muzumdar playing his 137th encounter. He still holds the record with 145 Ranji matches.
The veteran batsman played his final first-class game versus Delhi in the Ranji Trophy 2017-18. Despite being an integral cog in the state’s line-up and having an illustrious domestic career for nearly 25 years, he was not awarded a national call-up. He, however, remains a prolific run-scorer with his 9201 runs, the third highest in tournament history, behind Wasim Jaffer and one less than second-placed Muzumdar.
“I feel it is the right time to retire when people say that you can play more. I feel honoured that I pursued a career in what I loved the most – cricket. To call it day, it is very hard and emotional for me but then there is a time for all the players who go through the complete circle of life,” said Bundela addressing a press conference at the Holkar stadium.