laxmi ratan shukla
Laxmi Ratan Shukla [in yellow kurta] during an event in Kolkata earlier this yearIANS

Former India international and one of the flagbearers of cricket in Bengal, Laxmi Ratan Shukla announced his retirements from all forms of the game on Wednesday, 30 December.

The 34-year-old was best known for his antics as a middle-order hard-hitting batsman with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL for the first five seasons. Shukla also shone as a bowler.

For Team India, however, Shukla didn't have a big impact. He made his ODI debut for India against Sri Lanka in March 1999, but just months later, he also played his final ODI match. He played his last 50-over game for the national team against West Indies on 5 September, 1999.

Shukla made his Ranji Trophy debut for Bengal in the 1997-98 season against Maharashtra. He went on to notch up nine centuries and 37 half-centuries from 137 first class matches, and ends his career after scoring 6,217 runs at an average of 35.93. 

Shukla, who also remains the first Bengal player to play 100 Ranji Trophy matches, picked up 172 wickets in his almost 18-year-long first class cricket career.

"It's been 21 years I have been playing," the Bengal veteran told reporters at the Mohun Bagan Club in Kolkata on Wednesday. "I have had a wonderful career for Bengal. I don't believe that to leave something, there is got to be a strong reason.

"I always believe whatever we want to do only we can decide, nobody else. And I have decided not to play cricket anymore."

Shukla also said he took this decision after consultation with Indian cricket legend Sourav Ganguly.

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