VVS Laxman may announce retirement on Saturday

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Yusuf, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    HYDERABAD: It all began 16 years ago against the visiting South Africans in Ahmedabad. After 134 matches and 17 hundreds, Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman's Test journey is likely to end at home with the first Test against New Zealand to be played from Aug 23 to 27.

    "Laxman has decided to announce his retirement from international cricket on Saturday. He spoke to me this morning and said he is quitting Test cricket," one of his former teammates told ToI on Friday.

    "Asked if it was a sudden decision, Laxman said that he had been thinking about the move for some time now and felt it was time to take a final call," the source added. "Laxman said that he will continue to play domestic cricket for another two or three years. He is keen on revamping the Hyderabad team and grooming youngsters."

    Laxman's first coach John Manoj of St John's Sports Coaching Foundation, where Laxman learnt his art, said: "Yes, Laxman spoke to me about it. We had a long chat on the issue."

    Laxman has been keen on hanging up his willow this season. "Though he has been selected for both Tests against New Zealand, I think Laxman is most likely to quit after the Hyderabad Test," John added.

    "Playing one Test less or more won't make much of a difference to his stature. But the thrill of calling it quits in front of his home crowd is any day a wonderful experience for any player. Laxman's timing has always been perfect and I am sure this time too he will hit the bull's eye," John said.

    According to John, Laxman wants the youngsters to cement their places in the Indian team. "With India playing a lot of Tests at home this season, he feels it is proper that youngsters get a chance to hone their skills on subcontinent wickets rather than being thrown to the wolves abroad," John said.

    "Laxman has always been a selfless cricketer and a hardcore team man. He doesn't want to come in the way of Team India rebuilding itself. He wants the team management to have the chance of getting a core group going again," he added.

    It has been 25 years since John first spotted the talent in a young lad brought to his camp by his uncle.

    "It was in 1987 that his uncle Baba brought the 11-year-old Laxman to the camp and we knew that this lad had something 'very very special'. And over the years he has proved to be India's most reliable batsman. It is a matter of great pride for all of us here," John told TOI.

    Laxman went on to live up to his nickname - 'Very Very Special' - as he became part of the famous batting quartet also comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid which ruled Indian cricket for more than a decade.

    Laxman got his first Test half-century (51) in the second innings of his debut match against the South Africans but it took him another 29 innings before he got his first Test hundred - a fabulous 167 against Australia in the Sydney Test.

    Since then Laxman has gone on to get 16 more hundreds while notching up a total of 56 half-centuries, with his highest being the monumental 281 against Australia in Kolkata which destroyed Australian captain Steve Waugh's dream of conquering the 'Final Frontier'.

    Laxman has since been a thorn in Australia's flesh more than once. Barring the last series Down Under when he could manage only 155 in eight innings, Laxman has time and again taken on the Aussie challenge and come on top. He has 2434 runs against them at an average of 49.67. His splendid form against the reigning Test team was one of the reasons for India's ascendancy to the top spot in Test cricket.

    Laxman till date, has played 134 Tests, amassing 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97. The Hyderabadi has always had a pair of safe hands and has pouched 135 Test catches too.

    Thriving under pressure has been Laxman's forte. Every time he was dropped, Laxman bounced back with a vengeance and made his bite their words. The Damocles' sword was always hanging on his head but instead of letting it pull him down, Laxman converted it into his strength and went on to carve a nice for himself.

    Laxman is one batsman who has batted in all positions barring No.9 and 11. He loves to bat at the No.3 position, where he has 1611 runs to his credit, but made himself comfortable at the No.5 and 6 positions where he got most of his runs (2877 and 2760). It's unlikely that there will be another VVS soon.

    Very Very Special Numbers

    Test debut: vs South Africa at Ahmedabad, 1996
    M - 134; Runs - 8,781; Avg - 45.97; 100s - 17; Top Score - 281

    ODI debut: vs Zimbabwe at Cuttack, 1998
    M - 81; Runs - 2,338; Avg - 30.76; 100s - 6; Top Score - 131

    First-class debut: 1992-93
    M - 265; Runs - 19,520; Avg - 51.5; 100s - 54; Top Scores - 353

    The other big names in India who called it quits post 2000

    Rahul Dravid - Retired in March 2012 aged 39

    Tests - M: 164; Runs: 13288; Hs: 270; Avg: 52.31; 100s: 36; 50s: 63
    ODIs - M: 344; Runs: 10889; Hs: 153; Avg: 39.16; 100s: 12; 50s: 83

    Like Sachin Tendulkar, he seemed to be enjoying a great second wind and it appeared that way as Dravid was the only Indian to shine in India's 0-4 rout against England in England, aggregating 461 runs in four Tests with three tons. He followed that up with a good series at home against West Indies too but post the defeat Down Under, he decided enough
    was enough.

    Sourav Ganguly - Retired in Nov 2008 aged 36

    Tests - M: 113; Runs: 7212; Hs: 239; Avg: 42.17; 100s: 16; 50s: 35
    ODIs - M: 311; Runs: 11363; Hs: 183; Avg: 41.02; 100: 22; 50: 72

    The moment Krish Srikkanth took over as the new chief selector, he was brought back for the four-Test series of Australia at home. On the eve of the first Test in Bangalore, though, Ganguly announced that the series would be his last. He signed off on a high, scoring a brilliant hundred in the second Test in Mohali and a strokeful 85 in the first innings of the last Test in Nagpur.

    Anil Kumble - Retired in Oct 2008 aged 38

    Tests - M: 132; Wkts: 619; Best: 10/74; Avg: 29.65; 5w: 35
    ODIs - M: 271; Wkts: 337; Best: 6/12; Avg: 30.89; 5w: 2

    Appointed captain at the age of 37 after Rahul Dravid quit the job, Kumble led with distinction in Australia, where his diplomatic skills salvaged some acrimonious situations during the 'Monkeygate' controversy and the defeat in Sydney. A shoulder injury made him pave the way for Dhoni to lead in the second Test in Mohali. He returned but split the webbing in his left hand, prompting him to announce the retirement.

    Javagal Srinath - Retired in Nov 2003 aged 34

    Tests - M: 67; Wkts: 236; Best: 8/86; Avg: 30.49; 5w: 10
    ODIs - M: 229; Wkts: 315; Best: 5/23; Avg: 28.08; 5w: 3

    He had briefly retired after India's tour to West Indies in 2002 and was persuaded to return by then-skipper Sourav Ganguly. He did so and bowled well in India in the Tests against West Indies. His decision to pull out of the Test series on spicy wickets in New Zealand in 2002-03 didn't go down well with the team management. His dipping fitness finally prompted him to call it quits.

    VVS Laxman may announce retirement on Saturday - TOI Mobile | The Times of India Mobile Site
     
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  3. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    VVS Laxman is a fine player who never got his due. One of the greats.
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    VVS Laxman brings curtains down on career

    V.V.S. 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 here from August 23, 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.

    Unfortunately for him, he could never be a part of India’s World Cup campaigns which remains one of his biggest regrets.

    “I have always kept my country’s success and need ahead of my personal aspirations. And while I would love contributing to the team’s success, especially against England and Australia, I think this is the right to give opportunity to the youngsters in home conditions ahead of international assignments”, he said.

    Laxman, however, made it clear that he will continue to play for Hyderabad till this year.

    “It was a dream for me to play for India since childhood and I am extremely thankful to the Almighty for giving me the opportunity to serve my country.”

    “I always felt that through cricket I got an opportunity to serve my country. I was fortunate to play in an era when India played some of its best cricket, home as well as away.”

    “I would like to thank everyone who guided me and encouraged me through my career.”

    Laxman will always be remembered for the magnificent 281 he scored against Australia at the Eden Gardens in March 2001 -- an innings which didn’t just change the face of the match but also turned the entire series on its head.

    That knock was ranked sixth in Wisden’s list of 100 great Test innings in the history of the game. It was just one of the several match-winning knocks that the unassuming batsman played against the mighty Aussies at their peak.

    “When I remember that knock, I feel how lucky I was to be part of history. How we changed the result of that match. It is always emotional when I think of that knock”, he said.

    Asked whether he had taken a hasty decision for which he will regret later, he said “I never regret the decisions I take, because my conscience is clear. I got the privilege to serve the country. I am satisfied with the decision, definitely I will never regret that I took the decision“.

    “I always tried to my best to give everything to the team while mantaining my dignity. There were times I am sure I did not perform well, I disappointed them but I can assure that it was not due to lack of effort,” he said.

    “I conclude in all humility by praying to the Almighty to take and bless Indian cricket to the highest level in the world in all forms of the game.”

    “It has been an emotional, fabulous and memorable journey which I will definitely cherish for the rest of my life.” Laxman said.

    “I was very unfortunate to play with the collegues who played with a lot of pride, and most of them went on to become legends of the game. The affection, bonding and friendship they shared with me will always be cherished all my life,” Laxman said.

    Laxman said he has not decided what he will do post post retirement.

    “My immediate and most important goal would be to share my experiences with the Hyderabad cricketers and if I can do what my seniors did when I was playing for Hyderabad earlier on in my career then I would be very happy.”

    “I learnt a lot from my seniors while I was growing up and if I can share some of my experiences, if I can help some these youngsters realise their potential I would be very happy.”

    “We took a lot of pride in the way we played for the country and we all had one single goal and one single ambition of that is to win matches consistently for the country, not only in India but also overseas and those efforts have been culminated into us being the no.1 Test playing nation of the world and I am sure the future players of Indian cricket will take our legacy forward.”

    The Hyderabad-stylist had come under scrutiny following his failure in the Test series against England and Australia last year.

    Against England he scored just 182 runs for an average of 22.75 and was even worse against Australia, scoring 155 in eight innings at just 19.37 in the eight successive lost Tests that were played against the two sides.

    “There have been people who have criticised me but my set of well wishers have been more. I can tell you that it is not easy to please each and every person. Failure and success are part and parcel of a cricketer’s life”, he explained.
     
  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Great player who saved us from many test defeats and also was a turning point in Indian cricket. His knock of 281 in Kolkata Test in 2001 instilled the confidence in Team India that it can beat Australia or any other team. From then on it was only upwards for the Team India - winning ODI world Cup, Being number one Test team and winning T-20 world cup.
     
  6. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    :hail: VVS :hail:

    The end of an era!
     
  7. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    He should have played the last two test matches. Would have been a befitting farewell.
     
  8. Raj30

    Raj30 Senior Member Senior Member

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    VVS Laxman has given strong and clear message to selectors: Sourav Ganguly - The Times of India
     

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