Dhoni Not Invited to Laxman's Late Night Party

Hyderabad, Aug 23 (PTI): Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today added more fuel to the intense speculation about his strained relationship with V V S Laxman, saying he was not invited for a late night party thrown by the retired cricketer at his residence.

Laxman, who retired from the game in controversial fashion just ahead of the series against New Zealand even though he was selected for the two Tests, threw a party yesterday for senior members Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan at his residence in Manikonda in the suburbs of the city. He, however, chose to ignore Dhoni for the bash.

When Dhoni was asked at the pre-match press conference if he was invited by Laxman, he replied in a clear "No".

The skipper also chose to pay little attention to the fact that Laxman could not get through to him to inform him about his immediate retirement plans ahead of the series.

"You think it's a controversy but people who know me always complained that I'm someone who is quite difficult to get hold of. That was one of the reasons why Laxmanbhai could not get hold of me," Dhoni told reporters ahead of the first cricket Test against New Zealand starting here tomorrow.

"That's not something new. I have tried to improve but it seems I have not really improved," he said.

Asked about Laxman's sudden retirement, pat came Dhoni's reply: "You need to ask Laxman about it."

Laxman, who trained hard at the NCA for about four months and also played in two local matches keeping in mind the fresh season ahead, suddenly announced his retirement last week, fuelling speculation that all was not well in the Indian camp.

According to unconfirmed reports, Laxman was handed a two-match ultimatum by one of the selectors.

The elegant middle-order batsman, known for his second innings heroics including an epic 281 against Australia in Kolkata, was unhappy about the ultimatum which is believed to be the reason behind his sudden retirement.

Laxman's retirement came after Dravid bid adieu to the game in March in the aftermath of India's 0-8 rout in England and Australia.

Dhoni said the team would miss the duo but felt that their absence would provide opportunity to youngsters to prove their mettle.

"Definitely these are our two great players and we will miss them on the field. But that's how it is," he said on the eve of series opener.

"It's an opportunity for the youngsters to take up the responsibility in the longer format. We are hoping that the youngsters would grab the opportunity and do well," he added.

The duo's absence would mean that India would have to fill in the void at the slip cordon, of which Laxman and Dravid were integral part. But Dhoni hoped that Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli would take up the responsibility.

"We are hoping that we won't miss them in the slip cordon. When it comes to scoring runs and the experience they had, it would be quite difficult. That's one area where we will definitely miss them," the skipper said.

"But we don't think we will be short of fielders. We have players like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag who are already fielding at the slips. We have seen the youngsters catch the ball really well. Sehwag most likely will stand at the first slip.

"With the spinners, there might be a bit of issue. It's challenging when there's bounce. We will miss Rahul over there. But let's look ahead and hope one of the youngsters take this opportunity and take a few good catches there," he added.


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Comment on this article

  • Don, Dubai

    Fri, Aug 24 2012

    Good that Dhoni was not invited for the farewell party organized by VVS coz Dhoni doesnt deserve it. A senior player Very Very special's absence will matter in indian cricket atleast for this series where he was ed and asked to resign. very sad...... its not that indian cricket cannot shoulder the responsibility without the seniors under Dhoni but respect to Senior players should be considered.....

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raghu, Bangalore

    Thu, Aug 23 2012

    It is sad that a cricketer of Laxman's stature was treated in a disgraceful manner by giving ultimatum of 2 matches before he is ped. This certainly shows Dhoni also has a hand in the sudden exit of Laxman. Dhoni cannot handle success and his arrogance shows in his behaviour which is always hidden behind his sheepish smile. whatever said and done senior players who have contributed to the success of Indian cricket needs to be respected

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • rajesh, bahrain

    Thu, Aug 23 2012

    doni you are good Leader, but give resfect good players so many time INDIA won the match because of VVS. WHEN WE ARE NO1, VVS, VIRU, KANA, DRAVID they er contribution is so much compare to u.........

    DisAgree [3] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lancy, Ferar

    Thu, Aug 23 2012

    When sachin will retire ? after next world cup ? May be next agenda ?

    DisAgree [7] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Omar, Moolur

    Thu, Aug 23 2012

    Hey Dhoni,

    You just paid for your consequences..

    Take care next time, when you deal with the senior cricketers.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

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