Out of favour Indian opener and World Cup hero Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Gambhir, who played a key role in two of India's World Cup triumphs – the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup, will play his final domestic Ranji Trophy game for his home team Delhi starting Thursday.
The 37-year-old accumulated 4154 runs in 58 Tests. He also represented India in 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is.
But Gambhir, who formed a successful opening pair with Virender Sehwag untill 2012, started to lose favour with the selectors and last played a Test against England in 2016.
"The thought has been with me day and night...it has accompanied me to practice sessions, mocking at me like a menacing bowler," Gambhir said in a video message on social media.
"Each time I got out playing for India, or KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) or Delhi Daredevils, this thought would turn into a sharp disturbing noise and walk with me all the way to the dressing room shouting that 'it is over Gauti'," he added.
The Delhi native led Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders to two titles in 2012 and 2014.
Gautam Gambhir to retire..— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) December 4, 2018
24-9-2007: #WT20 final 2007 at Jo'burg: made 75 - highest score of the match
2-4-2011: #CWC final 2011 at Mumbai: made 97 - highest score for India in the match
23-11-2007: ICC #1 T20I batsman
16-7-2009: ICC #1 Test batsman
4-12-2010: ICC #8 ODI batsman
"This may sound a little wishful but I've seen wishes come true. Two World Cups, highest run-getter in the final of both of these games is the stuff dreams are made of," Gambhir said.
"Somewhere on the top is being the No. 1 Test team in the world. A trophy, I'll look at very fondly, is the one I got for being awarded the ICC best Test batsman of the year in 2009. For a purist like me, it is a reward for somewhat knowing where my off stump was.
"The historic series win in NZ (New Zealand) and the CB series in Australia will be reflected upon fondly. But I do hope the current Indian team Down Under can overshadow our feats."
Gambhir went on to thank his coaches, teammates and family members for standing by him and said his most meaningful partnership was with the supporters of Indian cricket.