VVS Laxman has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, ending a 16-year career that will be remembered for several innings of extreme grace under extreme pressure. Laxman, 37, had been included in India’s squad against New Zealand starting next week.
Laxman announced his decision at an emotional press conference in his hometown Hyderabad, which he will represent in the Ranji Trophy this coming season.
Laxman said, ”I would like to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect”. “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 time to give the youngsters a chanc in home conditions ahead of international assignments.
“It was a tough decision to take, I have always listened to my inner conscience. 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”.
“Till last night I was unable to make up my mind, but in the end I listened to my inner voice and arrived at my decision to retire. I informed the chairman of selectors (Krishnamachari Srikkanth) this morning that I would not continue playing for India. I also spoke to many of my team-mates, they were surprised that I was retiring before the series. It was all very emotional”.
Laxman represented India in 134 Tests, scoring 8781 runs at 45.97. He made his debut against South Africa in the home series in 1996 but shot to the limelight with a knock of 167 against Australia in Sydney in 2000. Perhaps his greatest achievement was his 281 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2001, against Australia, then the highest score by an Indian batsman in Tests. Part of a record stand with Rahul Dravid, it set up a stunning victory for the home team after following on and ended Australia’s consecutive 16-match winning streak.
Laxman last played an ODI in 2006 but had, by then, become a regular in the Test side and played his 100th Test in 2008, against Australia in Nagpur. Laxman made six of his 17 Test centuries against Australia, with an average of 49.67 in 29 Tests and success both home and away.
His performances in the eight Tests during India’s disastrous tours of England and Australia in 2011 were disappointing. He averaged 22.75 in England and 19.38 in Australia, prompting some to call for him being dropped from the side with a long-term view of grooming a youngster to take his place.
VVS Laxman Test centuries:
1. Laxman scored his maiden Test ton against Australia (167) at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
2. Laxman scored his second Test ton against Australia (281) at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
3. VVS scored his third Test ton against West Indies (130) Antigua Recreation Ground, St John`s.
4. VVS scored his fourth Test ton against West Indies (154*) at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
5. Laxman scored his fifth Test ton against New Zealand (104*) at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali.
6. Laxman scored his sixth Test ton against Australia (148) at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide.
7. Laxman scored his seventh Test ton against Australia (178) at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.
8. Laxman scored his eighth Test ton against Zimbabwe (140) at the Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo.
9. Laxman scored his ninth Test ton against Sri Lanka (104) Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad,
10. Laxman scored his tenth Test ton against West Indies (100) at the Warner Park, St Kitts.
11. Laxman scored his eleventh Test ton against Pakistan (112*) at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
12. Laxman scored his twelfth Test ton against Australia (109) at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.
13. Laxman scored his thirteenth Test ton against Australi (200*) at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi.
14. Laxman scored his fourteenth Test ton against New Zealand (124*) at the McLean Park, Napier.
15. Laxman scored his fifteenth Test ton against South Africa (143*) at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
16. Laxman scored his sixteenth Test ton against Sri Lanka (103*) at the Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo.
17. Laxman scored his last and seventeenth Test ton against West Indies (176*) at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
VVS Laxman ODI Centuries:
1. Laxman scored his maiden ODI ton against Australia (101) at the Fatorda Stadium, Margao.
2. Laxman’s second ton came against Australia (102) at the Roop Singh Stadium, Gwalior.
3. The 37-year-old scored his third ODI ton against Australia (103*) at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane.
4. Laxman scored his fourth ODI ton against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.
5. VVS scored his fifth ODI ton against Zimbabwe (131) at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.
6. Laxman scored his last ODI ton against Pakistan (107) at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
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