Karuna Jain retires from all forms of cricket

Karuna Jain represented India more than 50 times. © Getty Images

Indian wicketkeeper Karuna Jain has announced her retirement from all forms of cricket on Sunday. Karuna was a key part of the Indian cricket team from 2004 to 2014 and was also a part of the Indian squad that made the World Cup final in 2005.

The 36-year-old made her debut for India in 2004 against West Indies in Lucknow and represented 58 times across formats between 2004 and 2014. She scored an unbeaten 68* on debut and was just the fifth Indian to score a half century on ODI debut. That score remains the third-highest by a wicketkeeper on debut in an ODI.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of my cricketing journey from the very beginning to all my coaches, support staff and my team mates whose been a part throughout my career (sic),” Karuna said in a post on Instagram that announced her retirement. 

“Each one of them has taught me something different about the game and life that made me the player and person I am today. It’s been an incredible journey I’ve been able to have and it would not have been possible without everyone who supported me during my ups and downs,” she added. 

 

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Karuna represented India in five Tests, 44 ODIs and nine T20Is. Her last appearance for India came in 2014 in an ODI against England at Scarborough.

Karuna was a part of the Indian team that reached the final of the World Cup in 2005 for the first time in South Africa. She was the back up wicketkeeper in that team to Anju Jain.

Karuna scored one hundred and nine fifties in her ODI career. Her only hundred came against England at Kolkata in 2005 in a winning cause after opening the batting. She also won the Player of the Match award for the effort. Overall, Karuna won three Player of the Match awards in ODIs, which are the most for an Indian wicketkeeper. Karuna is one of only two Indian wicketkeepers to score a ODI hundred, the other being Reshma Gandhi. The 103 Karuna scored was then the third-highest score by a wicketkeeper in ODIs.

Karuna is the fourth youngest Indian to score an ODI hundred after Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma.

Karuna’s 17 dismissals in Tests are the second most for India after Anju. She is also one of only two players in history to effect five stumpings in an ODI innings, the other being India’s Venkatacher Kalpana. Karuna’s 32 catches in ODIs are also the most by an Indian wicketkeeper.

Karuna is also the first and only Indian wicketkeeper to score more than 200 runs and effect more than 10 dismissals in an ODI series featuring four or lesser teams. She achieved the feat during the Quadrangular series against England, Australia and New Zealand in 2007. The 238 runs she scored in that series remain the most by an Indian wicketkeeper in an ODI series.

She also holds the record of effecting the most stumpings in a T20I. She effected four stumpings against Bangladesh in 2014. Only five other players have achieved the same feat so far.

Karuna represented Air India, Karnataka and Puducherry at the domestic level in a long career. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the BCCI and the State Association that I have represented which include Air India, Karnataka and Pondicherry and all the support extended by them. With a lot of happy and satisfied feelings, I am able to make this announcement of my retirement from all forms of cricket and looking forward to contributing back to the game..,” she added.