Chennai Super Kings' middle-order batter Ambati Rayudu on Monday said he can afford to smile for the rest of his life after a "fairytale finish" to his cricketing career.
Rayudu, who had announced his decision to stop playing IPL just before the final against Gujarat Titans, said his hard work for the last 30 years has paid rich dividends.
"It's a fairytale finish. I couldn't have asked for more. I'm fortunate to have played in really great sides. I can smile for the rest of my life. All the hard work I've done in the last 30 years, I'm happy I got to finish on this note."
"I would really like to thank my family, my father. Without them this wouldn't have been possible," said Rayudu after CSK beat Gujarat Titans by five wickets in the IPL final.
CSK all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who hit a six and four in the last two balls to seal the record-equalling fifth title for CSK, dedicated the win to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who probably played his last IPL game on Monday.
"Feels amazing, winning my fifth title in front of my home crowd. I'm from Gujarat, and it's a special feeling. This crowd has been amazing. They were waiting for rain to stop till late night, I'd like to say a big congratulations to the CSK fans who came to support us."
"I'd like to dedicate this win to a special member of the CSK side, MS Dhoni," he said.
"I was just thinking I need to swing hard, as much as I can. Where the ball will go, I was not thinking about that, just looking to swing hard. I was backing myself and looking to hit straight, because I know Mohit can bowl those slower balls," Jadeja added.