Stylist Laxman signs off

The 37-year-old announces retirement with "immediate effect".

Adios Amigos!Adios Amigos!

HYDERABAD:
VVS Laxman, one of Indian cricket’s most stylish servants, pulled the curtain down on an illustrious career on Saturday, announcing his retirement from International cricket with "immediate effect".

At a press conference organised at the Uppal Stadium here, a solemn Laxman shocked the gathered media persons with his decision.

Laxman had been selected for both the NZ Tests – to be played at Hyderabad and Bangalore – and was widely expected to compete in his final match on his home ground, and forsake the second Test.

But his decision to pass on what would have been the perfect swansong in his home city came as a shock to everybody.


"It's been 16 years since I have made my international debut for India and I think it is the right time to move on," said an emotional Laxman.

The move put an end to weeks of speculation over when the 134-Test veteran would call it a day.

"I will be very satisfied with the decision that I have taken and I will never regret this decision. Even in my exit, I will be following and living my ideals, which would be to keep the country before my personal needs.

"It was my privilege to play with the some of the legends of the game like Sachin, Rahul, Kumble, Sehwag, Saurav and a lot of other players as well. All of them inspired me because everyone had one single goal - to do well for country and to work for the progress of Indian cricket. They were all role models for me," he added.

Laxman had been selected for the two-match series against New Zealand in the face of mounting criticism that his inclusion impinged upon grooming a younger batsman for the middle order.

"I think it is time to give youngsters a chance at home ahead of a tough season. I have always kept the country's success ahead of personal aspirations.

"I would like to give youngsters an opportunity to prove themselves. I am grateful to almighty for blessing me to live my dream of playing cricket. I have always felt that I have got the opportunity to serve my country and have played the best cricket not only in India but overseas as well," he said.

The cricketer had been in talks with near and dear ones from his personal and professional circle on the issue of his retirement, which came sharply in focus after he fared poorly in England and Australia in 2011.

"I communicated my decision to BCCI earlier in the day that I am not going to continue playing cricket and would hang my boots with immediate effect. It was emotional during the past 4-5 hours while talking to my colleagues with whom I've shared the dressing room.

"I have not been able to get in touch with 'MS' as he is very hard to reach," said Laxman.

The 37-year-old averaged less than 20 in four Tests in Australia and had made a paltry 182 in as many games in England earlier in 2011. Following Rahul Dravid’s retirement in April, the spotlight was placed firmly on Laxman and his future in the Indian team.

The wristy batsman, who is best remembered for the epochal 281 he scored against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, singled out a few other innings that stood out in a glorious career.

"Any innings that saves a match is very special. There are a lot of innings and matches that are very close to me and I will cherish all of them. Durban 2010 (96 vs SA) was one of those knocks that I would cherish. Winning that match in the fashion that we did will be very memorable to me," he said.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Hyderabad vs Rajasthan

On Now: Hyderabad vs Rajasthan

Abu Dhabi: Rajasthan captain Shane Watson wins the toss and elects to field. More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »