Hyderabad, Aug 18 (Agencies) : VVS Laxman ended all speculation surrounding his retirement on Saturday when he announced his decision to call it quits from international cricket with immediate effect.
"I am retiring from international cricket with immediate effect," Laxman said during a press conference. "This is the right time for me to move on after 16 years of cricket for India."
Earlier, it was speculated that Laxman would announce his retirement at the end of the first Test against New Zealand at his hometown Hyderabad. But the Hyderabadi batsman, who was reportedly miffed at comments in the media that his presence was blocking chances for the youngsters, did not wait for the New Zealand series to finish and decided to hang his boots.
The 37-year-old said it's important to give youngsters to test their skills in home condition before they embark on foreign tours. "This is the right time to give opportunity to young players before overseas series."
Laxman said he was fortunate to play with some of the best cricketers played for India. "[I am] fortunate to play in an era when Indian team played some of its best cricket home and abroad. I always tried my best to give to the team while maintaining my dignity. There must be time I may have disappointed my team but I never fell shorts in my efforts.
And though the Hyderabad Cricket Association appealed Laxman to play the forthcoming home Test against New Zealand, the classical said the decision taken was a well-thought one. “This decision was not taken in haste. This has been a very tough decision for me as I always took pride in playing for the country."
Laxman was included in India's squad to face New Zealand in a two-Test series beginning with the first Test from August 23 at Hyderabad.
The Hyderbad batsman - known for his gift of timing the ball - made his Test debut in November 1996 and has played 134 Tests, in which he scored 17 hundreds and 56 half-centuries at an average of 45.97. Laxman also played 86 ODIs for India at a batting average of 30.76. He scored six centuries and 10 half-centuries in ODI cricket.
Cricket will miss VVS Laxman: BCCI
Hyderabad/Mumbai, Aug 18 (IBNS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said cricket fans and the game itself will miss batsman VVS Laxman, who retired from international cricket on Saturday.
In a statement, BCCI President N. Srinivasan said: "Indian cricket-lovers, and the game of cricket itself, will miss him for the elegance and grace that he epitomised, on and off the field."
“Not many batsmen made batting look as easy as VVS Laxman. He was an exceptional cricketer, who excelled in pressure situations."
"The classic innings that he essayed in crisis situations shaped the history of Indian cricket, none more so than the 281 against Australia at Kolkata in March 2001," he said.
"If a cricketer’s greatness is to be measured in terms of his performances against the best opposition of his time, then Laxman stands right at the top. His record against Australia, the world’s no. 1 team for the better part of his career, speaks for itself," Srinivasan said.
"On behalf of the BCCI, I would like to wish VVS Laxman all the best for the future,” he said.