August 18, 2012

Laxman's retirement speech

ESPNcricinfo staff

A transcript of VVS Laxman's retirement speech made in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Thank you everyone for coming over here at such a short notice. I would like to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.

It has been 16 years since I made my international debut for India and I feel it is the right time to move on. I have always kept the country's success and needs ahead of my personal aspirations and hence, while I would have loved to be contributing to the team success against England and Australia later in the season, I think it's the right time to give the opportunity to groom a youngster in home conditions before the tough tours overseas next year.

As a youngster, representing India was a dream and I am grateful to the almighty for blessing me to live my dream. I have always felt that through cricket, I got an opportunity to serve my country and I therefore took a lot of pride in wearing the India cap. I was fortunate to play in an era when the Indian cricket team played some of its best cricket, both at home and abroad.

I was very lucky that I had a lot of people during this fabulous journey who guided and encouraged me and I take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of them from the bottom of my heart. My parents, Dr V Shantharam and Dr V Satyabhama, for the upbringing they gave me which helped me face various challenges and situations in my career with equanimity and also for giving me the freedom and independence to pursue my passion of playing cricket. My uncle, Baba Krishna Mohan, who actually spotted the talent in me and probably had the biggest influence on my life.

My wife, Sailaja, who has been a pillar of strength to me since our marriage in 2004. She made a lot of sacrifices in her personal aspirations only to make sure I pursued my passion of playing cricket for the country with a free mind. She has almost single-handedly looked after my two lovely kids, Sarvajit and Achinthya, as I was, most of the time, travelling with my cricket commitments.

My brother, VVS Ramakrishna, for all the love and affection he showered on me. My childhood buddies Rajesh and Parth for the continued friendship they share with me. My teachers at the Little Flower High School, especially Jaiprakash Sir, for all the encouragement they gave me early in my life.

My coaches at the St John's Cricket Foundation for the guidance and support they gave me. My personal coach Ashok bhai, for spending endless hours so that I can hone my skills. The Hyderabad Cricket Association, for recognising my talent and encouraging me, especially at the start of my career.

The BCCI for giving me an opportunity to play for my country for nearly 16 years. All my coaches at the various teams I represented at the domestic and national levels, for always encouraging and motivating me to become a consistent performer. All the selectors, for reposing faith in my abilities and giving me an opportunity to serve the country. All the captains I played under, for inspiring me.

All the teammates with whom I played and shared the best moments of my life. I was very fortunate to play with colleagues who took a lot of pride in theirs and the team's performances and most of them have become legends of the game. The affection, bonding and friendship they shared with me will be cherished by me for life. All the physios and trainers who worked hard to keep me fit.

All my friends from the media who always supported me during my career. All my fans and well-wishers from India and across the world for all the encouragement and good wishes they showered on me. I tried my best to give everything I had to the team while maintaining my dignity. There were times I am sure I must have disappointed them, but I can assure them it was definitely not because of a lack of effort.

I conclude in all humility, by praying to the Almighty, to take Indian cricket to the highest level in the world in all forms of the game.

Thank you for all your support.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on August 21, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    One more Great One goes!!!! A very brave decision indeed but just like Dravid, Laxman wanted to go out before most idiots called for his dead!!! You will be missed VVS. Not only very you sublime on the field but also off the field just like your Pal, Dravid. Thank you for entertaining us all these years with your astonishing batsmanship as well as excellent fielding. You have done your country proud and Kudos to you for that.

  • dummy4fb on August 20, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    @ zwartedepiet i think you can very well keep quiet if you don't like to give credits to the Legend of the game.... There are many overrated players around and its certainly not VVS. If he was overrated he would not have got many feathers on his cap....

  • dummy4fb on August 20, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Dear Laxman,Thank you for the great entertainment you have provided us for the last 16 years. I'll never forget your 281 at Eden Gardens as long as I live, what an innings that was. It was an innings that broke the winning streak of mighty Australia (16 tests in a row), who were dreaming to defeat India. You denied them a win and pulled the victory for the jaws of defeat with a massive innings and saved us from great humiliation. The impact of that innings had demoralized Aussies and gave self-belief to Indian cricket that we are not behind. We then went on to win that series and Indian cricket never looked back since then. As BCCI president Mr. Srinivasan said "If a cricketer's greatness is to be measured in terms of his performances against the best opposition of his time, then Laxman stands right at the top. His record against Australia,the world's no.1 team for the better part of his career, speaks for itself", I couldn't agree more. you are truly magical and very very special!!!

  • arsh1118 on August 19, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Indian cricket won't see a as wristy and as stylish a player as of laxman's class .. it was the talent and his courage dat was holding india's middle and lower middle order both in abroad and on home soil .. badrinath may be judged as a replacement .. but there is no replacement for the best .. indian team would miss his presence .. finally its hard to accept dat dere wont be anybody respnding to the name of VVS LAXMAN in the indian dressing table ! HATS OFF TO YOU !!

  • SamRoy on August 19, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    It was evident (rather obvious) in Australia, it was time for him to retire. I wish it had come six months earlier. The only regret remains that promising youngsters were not groomed properly when the seniors were around (because of stupidity of the selection panel). Probably India's most stylish batsman, ever. Yes, even more stylish than Azhar even though Azhar was the slightly better bat.

  • DMPant on August 19, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    A Very Very Special era comes to an end! Thank you VVS for treating us to some of the most elegant batting ever. Who will play those effortless wristy flicks, cover drives & pulls now ? The Indian middle order wont be the same.

  • MFK3 on August 19, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    You have been an exceptional player and an inspiration to many of us... you have not only saved us from humiliation many times..but you have made the country proud against the most aggressive team in the world...Indian Cricket will always miss a class player like you...

  • dummy4fb on August 19, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    Thank you VVS. The memories of your batting are indelible. The elegance of your cover drives and flicks to midwicket are etched in posterity forever. The icy coolness with which you played amid overwhelming odds have made you a true cricketing legend. You should have played at least one final test in Hyderabad. But of course your true home ground was Calcutta's Eden Gardens. Your last test century, the epic 176*, was very much in keeping with the glorious legacy you have left behind at the Eden. There were many others who did great things at the Eden -- Vishwanath, Vengsarkar and Azharuddin -- but you surpassed them all with the greatest innings of all time, THAT 281, and invariably rose to unfathomable heights at the Eden. Calcutta will never forget you, nor will Indian cricket -- match-winner extraordinaire!

  • dummy4fb on August 19, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    Mohinder Amarnath, now a selector himself once called the selectors "a bunch of jokers". He was penalised for doing so in more ways than one. Now the selectors led by another cartoon Krishnamachari Srikanth is proving themselves to be so.He proved himself to be one in his playing days as well. He once change shirts in the middle while batting and such is the irony of Indian cricket that we had to select one such frivolous characters to head the selection committee. Yes the selectors duty is to take a call on which player is to selected and which player is to be dropped. It is also true that V V S's retirement was overdue. But is it the manner in which you treat someone like V V S ? Can anyone deny his services to Indian cricket? V V S was advised to get in touch with the ever elusive Dhoni. V V S is senior to Dhoni and just because he is the captain V V S cannot be expected to run after him with a begging bowl. And what was the instruction to Dhoni? Will that ever come out?

  • dummy4fb on August 19, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    Thanks VVS for some very very special innings, particularly your 281 against Australia all those years ago. Sad to see the third of the Big 4 hang up the boots for India, particularly so close after Rahul called time. It's going to leave the middle order very green, even at home, finding 1 batsman to replace Dravid was bearable, but now having to find 2 to cover 2 of the most dedicated, humble, classy batsmen of the past 15 years is going to be very difficult. Personally I feel VVS should have played on a while to sure up the middle order after bringing in which ever batsman fills the number 3, because none have really stepped up and said 'Pick Me', and then maybe stepped down once that had been settled. 2 untried batsmen is going to put a lot on Sachins shoulders, and also those of Kohli at 6. Thank You VVS, India will miss you, it's sad that you had to bear a lot of the criticism of the 2 past tour failures. There's 11 people playing, not just one. One shouldn't wear all the blame.

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