Indian cricket April 23, 2006

Laxman brushes aside retirement talk

Cricinfo staff

'I am proud to say that I am a matchwinner' - VVS Laxman © Getty Images

VVS Laxman has brushed aside suggestions that, at 31, he is too old to play the game at the highest level and asserted that he remained a matchwinner.

"I don't see why people are making a big issue of me being 30 plus," he told Times of India. "I am not too old to retire or give up the game. There have been players who have represented the country beyond the 30s. As long as I contribute to the team with my batting and fielding, I don't see any reason why I should give up. I am a batsman and not a bowler and having crossed the 30s does not bother me."

Laxman cited Greg Chappell's vision to support his cause. "Greg is looking for people who can perform and give their 100% to the team's cause and win matches. He is basically looking for matchwinners and I am proud to say that I am a matchwinner. I have bailed the team out of many a tight situation in the past and am confident of doing so in the future too."

He gave the details of his fitness regime to prove that he is match fit. "I work out for nearly three hours in the morning. It is mostly jogging here. I do almost 25 rounds every day. I alternate it with time in the gym. I have another three hour workout in the evenings but it is mostly batting in the nets. For the last one-and-a-half months since the end of the Test series against England, I have been working hard on improving my fitness. Once a person is fit, he will naturally be good on the field."

Laxman also expressed hope and confidence that he would force his way into the one-day team. "Right now my focus is on the Tests and am confident of forcing my way back in to the ODI side. I still believe that I can perform for the team in the ODIs and win matches for the country."

Laxman was left out of the 2003 World Cup and had called it the lowest point of his career. Four years later he still harbours hopes of playing in one. "Playing in the World Cup is a dream for me and I am confident of achieving it. There is still a lot of cricket to be played before the World Cup and I am sure of finding a place in the team."