India’s pace all-rounder Rumeli Dhar on Wednesday announced her retirement from all formats of the game, ending a career where she starred with crucial match-winning contributions for the national side, including being their captain, for 15 years since her debut against England in 2003.
In all, she represented India in four Tests, 78 ODIs and 18 T20Is from 2003 to 2018. She also had the rare achievement of opening both the batting as well as bowling for India in a T20I against the West Indies in 2012.
“23 years of my cricket career that started from Shyamnagar in West Bengal, has finally come to an end as I announce my retirement from all formats of cricket. The journey has been a prolonged one with highs and lows. The high was representing the Indian Women’s cricket team, playing the World Cup final in 2005 as well as leading the Women in Blue,” wrote Rumeli through her Instagram account.
Overall, Rumeli scored 236 runs at an average of 29.50 and picked eight wickets at an average of 21.75 in Test cricket. In ODI cricket, she amassed 961 runs, including six half-centuries at an average of 19.61 while picking 63 wickets at an average of 27.38. In T20I cricket, Rumeli made 131 runs with a best score of unbeaten 66, averaging 18.71 and took 13 wickets at an average of 23.30.
A shoulder injury in 2012 kept her out of the Indian team till a heel injury to veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami paved the way for her comeback into the national set-up mid-way through the T20I series against South Africa in 2018, where she took three wickets in two matches and taking two sharp catches.
In the period where she stayed away from the Indian team, Rumeli turned out for Rajasthan, Assam and then Delhi in domestic cricket before moving towards Bengal.
“A string of injuries plagued my career but I always came back stronger to make it count. Today as I bid adieu to the sport I have always loved, I thank my family, the BCCI, my friends, the teams I represented (Bengal, Railways, Air India, Delhi, Rajasthan and Assam) for believing in my abilities and giving me the opportunity to play for their teams. They helped pave my way towards the India team.
“Each match in this prolonged career taught me a lesson that will help in my second innings. Like all journeys, mine will end as a cricketer today, but I promise to be associated with the sport and help nurture young talents in the country, giving back to the game in every way possible,” elaborated Rumeli in her retirement post.
In the caption alongside the retirement post, Rumeli further wrote, “Thanking everyone who has been there for me through all the ups and down, everyone who have loved me, my game, pushed me when I needed the most, cheered me at my worst, laughed with me, scolded me when needed.
“I owe each one of you for everything I am today. Today,I am running out of words to express the feeling that is within. Just want to thank everyone for being there for me.. and giving so much love all these years!”