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In her blog, Lisa Sthalekar recounts her last season in international and domestic cricket and how she arrived at the decision to retire.
Many people have asked me over the past few weeks whether it was a quick, simple decision to call it day. For me, it certainly was neither I often find myself saying to family and friends that I am a realist when it comes to life, and in assessing when to finish up my playing career, my approach to the decision making was no different - be a realist. Simply put, I always reminded myself that at some point everybody has to retire and the magic is in getting the timing right.
So how do you work out when the time is right? I guess the priority for me in this regard has always been to make sure that I would retire when I was at the top of my game, contributing in all facets; not being hidden, whether that be in the field, in terms of when I bowled or where I was in the batting order.
It's the most unlikely spat - a storm in a dinner-plate, if you will - between the most unlikely protagonists. At his retirement press conference on Saturday, VVS Laxman was asked, by the way, whether he'd informed his India captain, MS Dhoni. "I was trying to get in touch with MS, it's difficult to reach him, everyone knows that," he replied with a smile on his face.
A couple of days later the Indian team hit Laxman's hometown of Hyderabad ahead of the New Zealand Test match. Laxman had a few people - including Tendulkar, Gambhir, Sehwag and Zaheer - over for dinner but among those not on the list was the India captain. Sure enough, the issue was raised at the pre-match presser, and Dhoni responded with a straight bat. "People who know me have always complained that I'm someone who's difficult to get hold of. It's not something new, I'm trying to improve but just not improving."
Next question: What did he think of Laxman's retirement? "You need to ask VVS about it."
Finally, the straight one: Were you invited for the dinner party hosted by VVS last night? The answer was short and crisp: "No."