'Today 'Davangere Express' after running for 25 years and passing so many stations of cricketing life, has finally arrived at a station called 'Retirement'.'
Veteran Karnataka medium pacer R Vinay Kumar, who also represented India and led his state team to successive Ranji Trophy titles, on Friday announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket.
The 37-year-old Kumar played one Test, 31 ODIs and nine T20 Internationals for India, taking 49 wickets across the three formats.
In first-class cricket, Kumar has taken 504 wickets from 139 matches at an excellent average of 22.44 with 8/32 being his best bowling return in an innings.
"Today 'Davangere Express' after running for 25 years and passing so many stations of cricketing life, has finally arrived at a station called 'Retirement'. With a lot of mixed emotions, I, Vinay Kumar R, hereby announce my retirement from international and first class cricket," he said in a statement.
"It is not an easy decision to make, however, there comes a time in every sportsperson's life where one has to call it a day," he added.
In the statement, the 37-year-old seasoned campaigner said he immensely benefitted getting to play alongside the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli in his career.
"My cricketing experience has been enriched by playing under the great minds of Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni, Virendra Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma to name the few.
"Also, I was blessed to have Sachin Tendulkar as a mentor in Mumbai Indians," the pacer said.
Kumar made his Ranji Trophy debut for Karnataka in the 2004-05 season and went on to become the team's lead seamer.
The 2007-08 and 2009-10 Ranji seasons were the most productive for the seamer, who picked up wickets by the bagful to earn an IPL call-up from Royal Challengers Bangalore.
He led Karnataka to two consecutive Ranji Trophy titles in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
"I have been fortunate enough to represent my country at the highest level and give it all I had to this beautiful game. My journey has been filled with many moments that I will cherish lifelong. I came to Bangalore from Davangere to pursue my dreams.
"I am very grateful to Karnataka State Cricket Association for giving me the opportunity to represent the state team. From here I went on to play for India and represented the nation in all the formats of the game," he added.
His best figures in his international career came in the ODI format where he returned with the figures of 4/30 against England in Delhi in 2011.
Kumar was also part of Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Kochi Tuskers Kerela in the IPL.
In 141 list A games, he took 225 wickets at an average of 24.39 with 5/34 being his best.
In 2019, he had moved from Karnataka to Puducherry ahead of the Ranji Trophy season.
He thanked the BCCI, his state association and all the IPL franchises for giving him an opportunity to play what he considers "not just a game" but "a way of living" that has "taught" him many things.
"I would also like to offer my sincere gratitude to BCCI for making me as a part of its family. Playing for the country is the ultimate dream of any sportsperson, I am glad and blessed to have achieved this feat.
"Memories of donning the blue jersey of the India team will always be close to my heart."