CHENNAI: S Badrinath, who had been the mainstay of Tamil Nadu's batting for almost 18 years, announced his retirement at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday. His former teammate L Balaji and father Subramaniam were with him when he made the announcement.
At 38 years and with more than 10,000 runs in first-class cricket, Badrinath retired a satisfied man. He was the backbone of Tamil Nadu cricket for over a decade. In 2010 he made his Test debut against South Africa and made 56 against a rampaging Dale Steyn in Nagpur. Unfortunately, his Test career ended after just one more match in that series.
To prolong his career and enjoy the game, he turned out for Vidarbha and Hyderabad. "I am happy with what I have achieved. People thought I would never even play T20 cricket. But I went on to play more than 100 games for Chennai Super Kings. I got to play the format for India too, which I had never dreamt of,'' said Badri, as he was affectionately called. Balaji singled out Badrinath for his commitment and dedication to the game. "I congratulate him for a wonderful career. Wish you good luck for the future. I still remember a game he saved for Tamil Nadu despite being admitted to hospital for dehydration. Such was his determination. Hats off to his courage and efforts over the years.'' recalled Balaji.
Perhaps the best compliment came from former India opener and Ranji stalwart WV Raman. "Badri was the backbone of the Tamil Nadu team during his time. His hunger to pile up big scores was unmatched. His
hundred against Baroda on a turning track and his double century against Mumbai were the best innings he played in a long career."
Not winning the Ranji Trophy after reaching the final on a few occasions must have hurt. "Whenever I played for Tamil Nadu, I wore the heart on my sleeve. I did whatever I could to win a match for my
team. It was a dream to lift the trophy but I wouldn’t say it is a regret,'' said Badrinath.
The coach of Tamil Nadu Premier League outfit Karaikudi Kalai now wants to spend time with family. "That is my priority now. It played a huge role in me taking this decision. My motivational levels had also come down a bit in the past few years. I was pondering over it for the past one year,'' said Badrinath, thanking all his coaches, the TNCA, the BCCI, his family, teammates and friends for making his journey memorable.