Hyderabad, Aug 18: VVS Laxman announced his retirement from international cricket here at his home ground, Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday.
Full text of Laxman's retirement speech
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Laxman, a veteran of 134 Tests, has decided to quit cricket with immediate effect. "I would like to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect," Laxman said at a press conference on Saturday.
Laxman was picked for the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting in Hyderabad on August 23. However, home fans will not have an opportunity to see Laxman in a Test. Many had thought that the right-hander would play his home Test.
"It is time to move on," added Laxman as he announced his decision in front of his family, friends and officials of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA).
"I have always kept country's success ahead of personal aspirations," he said.
He added that it was time to give youngsters a chance in order to prepare them for tough overseas tours next year.
"Right time to give a youngster chances at home ahead of tough series. I thank the Almighty for allowing me to live my dream," Laxman said.
"I was proud to wear the Indian cap." He thanked all of them who had supported him for his younger days.
One of the most stylish Indian batsmen and known for his exploits at the crease against Australia, Laxman had endured tough times in the recent past. There was a lot of pressure on the Hyderabadi to make way for youngsters.
Laxman made his Test debut against South Africa in 1996 in Ahmedabad. His One Day International debut was against Zimbabwe in Cuttack in 1998.
Laxman has followed his close friend and former team-mate Rahul Dravid into retirement. In March, Dravid bid adieu to international cricket. However, the Bangalorean played in the Indian Premier League this season.
Laxman and Dravid were involved in many memorable batting partnerships. The historic one being the association at Eden Gardens in Kolkata against Australia in 2001. Laxman made an epic 281, his best Test score and Dravid contributed 180 as India won the Test after following on.
The 37-year-old Laxman could not find an IPL team this year and he has not played for India since the tour of Australia earlier this year. He had a poor four-Test rubber Down Under where he managed just 155 runs in eight innings.
In 134 Tests, Laxman scored 8,781 runs (average 45.97) with 17 centuries and 56 fifties. He could not be a regular member of the ODI side and featured in only 86 matches. He scored 2,338 (average 30.76) ODI runs with six hundreds and 10 half centuries. Overall, in 265 first class games, Laxman has scored 19,520 runs with 54 tons at an average of 51.50.
Laxman's biggest disappointment in ODIs is not being able to be a part of World Cup squad. He was surprisingly omitted from 2003 squad in favour of Dinesh Mongia. India went on to reach the final of 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Laxman had then admitted that he was disappointed at missing out on World Cup.
Laxman, Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were part of the golden generation of India's batting. They were called the "Fab Four". Now the third of that elite group has decided to walk away from the game.
Tendulkar is the last man standing from that era, which produced tons and tons of Test runs at home and abroad. The quartet was part of many Indian triumphs.