Laxman Announces Retirement from International Cricket
Vangipurappu Venkata Sai (VVS) Laxman, who won many a match for India with his wristy elegance including an epic 281 against Australia in Kolkata, on Saturday announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, bringing down the curtains on a glorious career spanning 16 years.
The 37-year-old Laxman, one of the finest batsmen in contemporary cricket, said that he felt it was the right time to bid adieu to the game which he played with "great pride for the country".
"I would like to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect. I think it's right time to move on", an emotional Laxman told a press conference in Hyderabad.
Laxman, who was picked in the Indian squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand beginning in Hyderabad from 23rd August, surprisingly chose to hang his boots with immediate effect without taking the opportunity to bow out of international cricket in front of his home crowd.
"It was a tough decision to take, I have always listened to my inner conscience. The inner voice is a divine voice, I have always done that right through my career. There was a lot of debate in the last four days. I felt this is the right time to move on", he said.
Laxman, who earned the sobriquet 'Very Very Special' for his style and flair, played 134 Tests, amassing 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97. He scored 17 hundreds and 56 half centuries in the longer format of the game.
Laxman, who was not a regular in India's ODI team, played 86 matches for an aggregate of 2338 at an average of 30.76.
REACTIONS: Sachin, Zaheer Shocked by the Announcement
Indian pacer Zaheer Khan was shocked and Sachin Tendulkar expressed surprise on VVS Laxman's decision to retire from international cricket.
"It's been quite shocking, to say the least. I was prepared to join him in the dressing room at Hyderabad, I was convinced so even this morning. Then I realised that I wouldn’t have the joy and privilege to share the dressing room with him. Yes, I will certainly miss a friend in the dressing room," said Zaheer.
"What more I can say, he has been an incredible batsman, as you all aware, and a fabulous, fabulous individual. I have no hesitation in calling him a legend of our time, and wish him all the luck for his future ventures, and I am sure he will be successful there as well," Zaheer said.
Sachin Tendulkar too shared some memories of his long association with Laxman.
"I was quite surprised to hear that Laxman won’t be playing against New Zealand. I am sure he has thought over this decision, but we all will miss him," Sachin said.
"I have shared some wonderful partnerships with him, especially against the Australians. The first thing that comes to my mind how calm he is even against toughest of opponents under any circumstances," he concluded.
VVS Laxman's career stats
Matches - 134
Matches - 86