'One of the finest human beings to have played cricket'

Cricketers and those associated with the game pay tribute to VVS Laxman, after he announces his international retirement in Hyderabad

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 18, 2012

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

VVS Laxman was in sparkling form, India v Pakistan, 1st Test, Delhi, 2nd day, November 23, 2007
"Not many batsmen made batting look as easy as VVS Laxman" © AFP
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"When i walk out to play in Hyderabad I will feel a deep void. A void that can never be filled. My dear friend, VVS Laxman..."
India team-mate Sachin Tendulkar on Twitter

"The whole team will miss you VVS. One of the best human beings I have ever met in my life. Spent a lot of time with him while batting and fielding and the chat would always be about the team. Personally, I will really miss you Lachu bhai."
India captain MS Dhoni

"The best part about Laxman was his sense of grace on and off the field, both in good times and bad times. I will remember him most for his sense of balance while batting, his ability to keep smiling whatever the situation and the tenacity to keep bouncing back."
Former India captain Rahul Dravid

"That was the brightest day in Laxman's career. That innings had a big impact on Indian cricket. It had given us a huge sense of relief and made us have belief in ourselves that we're not behind... Since then, we never looked back as Indian cricket kept improving."
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Laxman's 281 in the 2001 Kolkata Test against Australia

"Laxman has had an outstanding career. He is one of the few batsmen who was a great chaser, an art only a few could master."
Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar

"Laxman you were amazing [at] cricket everyone knows, but you were surely the best human being I have ever met. God bless you with all the happiness in future."
India team-mate Harbhajan Singh

"VVS is one of the finest human beings to have played cricket. One of the main pillars of the team and a true friend. Words are not enough."
India team-mate Virender Sehwag

"From carrying his innings to carrying himself, VVS has shown immense class. Will miss you Laxman bhai."
India team-mate Suresh Raina

"Laxman bhai has always been an inspiration for all the cricketers. Gonna miss watching him play for India. Wish him all the best for future!"
India batsman Manoj Tiwary

"Laxman. His attitude is infectious. Felt at peace after talking to him. A salute to him for a great career and inspiring many lives."
India Under-19 captain Unmukt Chand

"Requires a very special man to turn his back on a grandstand end and accept the moment has come. Rose in my eyes if he could any more."
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle

"Not many batsmen made batting look as easy as VVS Laxman. 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. Indian cricket-lovers, and the game of cricket itself, will miss him for the elegance and grace that he epitomised, on and off the field."
BCCI president N Srinivasan

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (August 20, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

I felt for a moment that i am hurting all Sachin fans and even myself a little when i call Sachin selfish always. He may have been in some occasions but not always. Selfish term is irrelevant i feel. I am sorry. But at the same time Sachin is just playing not even thinking of team future. Sachin fans you should not be adamant here in accepting this. Think once how correct you support always Sachin. I have accepted truth that i was wrong in calling him selfish always which he was not except for few times. He is a talented sportsman , but can you people answer me, is he intelligent?? Is he Intelligent enough to think about team future and also think how is he playing; in form , out of form and leaving matches , again entering team?? All debate on this i am ready to talk with you people. Future of Indian with out Sachin and goal to make world cup team is what is all our topic about. Ready?? Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by vas_v9 on (August 20, 2012, 6:39 GMT)

VVS: Very Very Special.... Will miss you...

Posted by   on (August 20, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

Sad day...Hope Tendulkar doesnt retire anytime soon. i.e at least for 10 yrs. Now THAT would be really sad.

Posted by SivaSurapaneni on (August 20, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

All of 30+ scores from VVS in result changing matches in India's favor were worthier than 100+ scores in inconsequential matches from other batsmen. India was lucky to have many of such scores from Lakshman. For me his centuries are not 17. They are Worth 34. They are a few stylish, graceful coupled with nerves of steel left in Cricket. Alma is probably the closest.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

some players are born special... no matter how much you try to emulate them it is absolutely impossible to fill in their shoes. VVS is one such player... pure class, elegance and a treat to watch when in full flow. his is a different style one of a kind. agreed that there are players on the bench who are good and promising and they may even be as effective but there was & there still is only 1 Laxman and probably he'll be the last Laxman... our own Very Very Special Laxman... will surely miss you great one. I never used to watch test cricket until that fateful day at Eden and since then all changed & nw that the famed quartet is broken there will be no more test cricket for me.... I bid adieu to thee test.....

Posted by warneneverchuck on (August 19, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

Sachin would be selfish if he retires now as he should guide Indian young middle order before leaving

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (August 19, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

It was only after Laxman's heroics at Eden people of India started believing that Team India can win from whatever situation.Bowling we had only one hope Kumble and he always delivered when India needed. Earlier in batting except for Dravid and to some extent Ganguly, it was pathetic. Sachin was always been a 4th guy following these guys foot steps but that too too late for one or two test matches for a drawn cause or win at Chennai. But Laxman and Dravid have many matches to show for them where they won Indian matches single handedly. So my humble request to Sachin is that " Please retire from team, so that team can learn winning rather than learn loosing from you ".

Posted by   on (August 19, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Laxman... Special... VERY VERY SPEC IAL...WHAT ELSE COULD I SAY????

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (August 19, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

Sachin is the only match looser now. Earlier they were two match winners Dravid and Laxman, so atleast even though Sachin match loosing abilities would come up they could have been cancelled by match winning abilities of this 2 match winners and we used to at least Draw match or win match. But now what will happen?? Selfish records?? God save team India.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

@phani20 -- spot on dude, wonderful comment :) comparisons mustn't be made between any great....ganguly, dravid, laxman and tendulkar are all class players and have their unique style....for sachin, he has been instrumental since 1989 and is the best among all we fans actually don't play international cricket so we don't know anything but i have personally met dravid and ganguly and both were unanimous that they too have learnt a lot from sachin....laxman too considers sachin the best along with lara, warne, mcgrath, akram, yunis, donald etc....when so many people hail one person, that person is indeed special....A worst form SACHIN is 100 times better than a best form rest Indian batsman....coming on Laxman, salute you sir, I can proudly say I never criticised you and other legends even in crisis because I always knew if you all couldn't play well on a certain pitch....no other indian batsman can ever play, best of luck :)

Posted by rnarayan on (August 19, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

To quote John Arlott, "Recorded centuries leave no trace On the memory of that timeless grace"

Posted by Haleos on (August 19, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

@East_West - SRT is doing excatly as you want. The more he plays the more average age of Team India increases. SO in effect, Team India is growing, albiet in age. Jokes apart, Sachin is not like VVS. He still performs and is far better fielder than VVS and Holes in the Wall. We dont want all the senior players to go at once. VVS and Wall had started to become a liability.

Posted by Haleos on (August 19, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

void that cant be filled? seriously? everyone says the same when good players retire. but unless they retire how are we gonna find future great?

Posted by prashant1 on (August 19, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

@East_West....I can only hope and pray that what you say comes true!! Sachin Forever !!!

Posted by   on (August 19, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

A great cricketer. He will forever remain, Very, Very Special.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 19, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

Its SAD to see him go, but we now have players like:- Pujara, Badrinath, Chand, Irfan, Yuvi, Sharma, Tiwari who await slots. Batting wise there are capabilities, but bowling wise we are bare. I hope Harmeet Singh comes good as a spinner.

Posted by sheshadrineela on (August 19, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

You have made the Aussies happy by announcing your retirement now make us happy too by playing in Hyderabad. VVS please play in Hyderabad for the last time so that we can cheer you and give you a warm send off, Pls pls reconsider ur retirement and play in Hyd. Pls give us a Very Very Special (surprise) by playing in Hyderabad. We miss you a lot.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (August 19, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

The selectors have goofed up and showed their utter lack of class. By giving MSD so much power, they have messed up with India's greatest crisis man. MSD is a hopelessly out of sorts captain in Test matches. He lacks killer instinct and aims for a draw. My prediction : England will win 2-0 and Australia 2-1.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

He used to make the batting looked so easy on the wicket where others failed to stay on. Amazing sense of self-belief!!!!!! and who will forget his match winning 281 against Aussies? The great wrist artist indeed and the selfless legend who never gave up in any situation of the game.

Posted by phani20 on (August 19, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

How long will the youngsters beg seniors to retire and give them the place...why can't they grab the place the way Kohli did... it is ridiculous for people to ask seniors to retire just coz they are old...why can't youngsters match the play and force the seniors out ??......thanks to RD & Lax, a few in competent folks will get into the team....i guess with Lax also out, for me cricekt is back to 90s...once Sachin is out...i"ll switch the channel....

All the best Lax! You have been a great cricketer and great person...we are proud of you...

Posted by   on (August 19, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

One day everyone is wanting him to retire as he was "useless" in 2 series. He is past his prime and all that. Ans he taking space. Finally when he does retire, all of a sudden he was the best. I just dont like this kind of treatment.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

If Dravid is the wall, Sachin is the power then you are the back up!!!At times when the wall got penetrated, the power failed....you were there to take Team india to safety. You are going to be missed badly along with Dravid, two class players with cool heads and down to earth attitudes. ....best of luck "VERY VERY SPECIAL LAXMAN".

Posted by East_West on (August 19, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

Sachin says -"When i walk out to play in Hyderabad I will feel a deep void. A void that can never be filled. My dear friend, VVS Laxman..." I BET, he will say the same when his son Arjun retires from Cricket while Sachin is still playing for INDia!! Please Sachin, retire and give space to young ones! Looks like you don't want Indian Cricket Team to grow!!

Posted by East_West on (August 19, 2012, 4:09 GMT)

Being a Hyderabadi, I am biased towards VVS! Although I have criticized him many times for giving his wicket away cheaply, everyone knows this guy is very very special! Yeah, he is this and that in cricket, but what I love him the most is that he is the nicest human you will ever meet! never talks trash - on or off the field, friendly to everyone - I am taking about this man's off the court qualities because Cricket is about Gentlemen game - I have friends who played with him in local games growing up and they all say that this guy hasn't changed even after all the accolades - the same nice friendly smile and always helpful mate - even when Shahid Afridi talked bad about VVS after 1st IPL, this guy took a high road! much respect Laxman brother! may god takes care of you and your family, I wish you can pursue your other ambition - MEDICINE not too late bother - brilliant in academics - having said that I WILL NEVER FORGIVE Sourav for NOT taking him to the world cup! Never WILL!!

Posted by shaonkarmakar on (August 19, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

i am worried for those test matches in which india will need 200 runs to win with 5 wickets in hand. i dont think india will ever have any 2nd innings finisher like this unrecognized legend. i will be so happy if india gets a lot of players like him, but im afraid im true

Posted by coolindianfan on (August 19, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

kudos to laxman .on song like lara and dravid a site for gods to watch. great player and a great man someone similar to dravid . his knock of 281 against the all conquering aussies will per haps be the greatest knock of all time along with hanif mohommads 337 . he had the remarkable ability to have two shots for the same ball. although like dravid he should have been given a farewell against nz .the 2md of the big 3. .we will miss udearly.magic in wrists indeed.one last time "hats off"

Posted by RANAROYALS on (August 19, 2012, 3:15 GMT)

from my childhood i am used to a test team naming 1.sehwag 2.it keeps changing untill gambhir 3.rahul 4.sachin 5.sourav 6.vvs 7.keeps changing untill msd 8.bajji 9.kumble 10.srinath then zaheer 11.always a new one but now no dada no kumble no rahul no vvs no bajji feeling sad and alone who is there to make indian test team interesting again miss u all legends.

Posted by theswami on (August 19, 2012, 0:40 GMT)

Pup can breathe easy, now the Aussies' wish of a series victory on Indian soil will surely come true ..... heck ..... it would be a whitewash, not just a victory for Australia ...

Posted by bvnathan on (August 19, 2012, 0:16 GMT)

True to him name he was VERY VERY SPECIAL.. member of TEAM INDIA. To me personally his innings of 167 in Sydney stands out, outside the 281 he scored in Kolkatta - both against the Aussies. He will be missed, but an opportunity has come for the probables to make their mark and step into the VOID left by him and Rahul Dravid. Congrats on a great career and wish you all the best in your future...

Posted by   on (August 19, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

Laxman, Real class player ,great human being.He had one of the most significant innings in indian test cricket history.Artistic,wristy,many valuable innings.Will miss you and Dravid.

upendra patel

Posted by pitch_it_up on (August 18, 2012, 23:50 GMT)

Truly, an era has come to an end. End of a romantic era where Test cricket was considered the ultimate form of the game, where sportsmanship, pleasant demeanor, which Laxman embodies, were valued and respected. No one timed the ball better than him...pure artistry, make it look so good to watch. Sadly, the Selectors couldn't communicate any better. And so, Laxman had to retire the way he had to. Truly, with Dravid and Laxman retiring, Test Cricket is no more the same.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 22:58 GMT)

One must remember his innings with Ishant Sharma for an Indian victory. A great player.. Salute....

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

A legend of Indian cricket, he did not get the recognition he deserved................

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 21:18 GMT)

vvs laxman is the best forever as he will know for best chaser in fourth inning sofar ........we will miss u laxman always when it come to chasing the target. All the best for yours future may god bless u!

Posted by cricket-is-best on (August 18, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

@rasheed khan..i too remember that brad williams over.he was realy bowling fast n furious.n there came laxman with those two amazing shots.i remember d commentary too.i think he added two more in that over,that too continuous.

Posted by JKSFB on (August 18, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

With Laxman's retirement, the Indian team is devoid of any proven test batsmen, with the exceprion of SRT! Sehwag seems to have lost both his fitness and his desire....I seriously doubt the Indian team can even compete with Aus/Eng/SA overseas anymore in tests..As a result BCCI will do all it can to help kill tests and promote crassy T20s....Test Cricket is facing an imminent death

Posted by JayCee on (August 18, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

As a HYderabadi, it saddens me to see VVS leave. Probably the last illustrious Hyderabadi bat.

Posted by DevilInside on (August 18, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

@Rasheed Khan, that's aptly put! VVS not only confounded the opposition, confounded the commentators as well! Speaks volumes of the great player he is!!

Posted by secondopinion on (August 18, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

The most graceful batsman when in full flow, effortless ease of execution. A wonderful artist, what wrists and level headed enough to play long match-winning inning. Will miss VVS.

Posted by CrickFreak2012 on (August 18, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

what a player! we will miss him..... My favourite batsman in Indian team... But this is a golden opportunity for Sachin to delay his retirement since Dravid and VVS have left...ans Sachin will go on shamelessly...

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

Heroes goes...Legend remains...the man who kick (Kolkata test) started INDIA's accent to No.1 in test. He will remain in ours hearts forever.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

The man of elegance. Love his batting along with Dravid's. It was a shame on the selectors who ignored him for 2003 world cup and picked up Dinesh Mongia instead, when he was in prime form of his ODI career with 2 centuries against Australia very recently at that time. Who knows, his presence would have given us the impetus to overhauld the Aussies in the final. Will miss your strokeplay.

Posted by kharidra on (August 18, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

Waged many a battle with the lower order. No wonder it is the lower back that had to give way. Otherwise The ability to pierce fields - a VVS signature - could have provided better results in ODIs also. The other side of the coin is the fitness level which leaves a gaping hole in the field negating the benefit of capability to pierce the field. Apart from the second innings willow wielding expertise there are also instances when the match is remembered for contribution by a different player. Even if a different player is considered to be the primary player,the VVS act is no less in the context of matches when even in secondary contributions they have been sizeable.In a Fab 4 situation if statistics hide anything it is the fact that Greatness is just next door

Posted by pagoda on (August 18, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

first we had Tiger Ptaudi, then Ahar, but its VVS WHO BREAK THE BARRIERS of overseas batting, and IV innings chase-taking the team to new hights-saif

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

two shots i still get goose bumps till today and i never get tired reminding anyone who will listen.it was winter 2003-04 {new york} india in australia. brad williams bowling fast outside off stump laxman flicks past midwicket for four.now the commentators don't agree with that shot and advised kids not to play that shot to that deliveries with 3 slips and 2 gullies. deliveries like those should be played through the offside. they predicted the following ball will be as the previous hoping to get the edge and it was. the only difference it was blasted through the covers for four.two indentical balls two exact opposite shots.the vvs didn't mean very very special for nothing.respects from the caribbean man we know a thing or two about strokeplay.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 17:13 GMT)

VVS Laxman often played his game to match the level of his opponent. That is why he shone in a crisis often. The only exception was when he did not match England which was going to the top.

Class, commitment, elegance and resilience marked his tenure in the Tests. More than the opposition the Indian selectors, media and fickle fans tested him and used a different scale to measure him than most of his contemporaries.

Yet the man never grumbled but carried on gallantly. With him cricket was a throwback to the days when it was a gentlemen's game.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

laxman is a class act.I strongly feel the younger players will never dissapoint us.Void will be filled am sure.

Posted by jay_vkjay on (August 18, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

For Ganguly if God is on the off side, For Laxman God is living in his Wrists.....

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

Cricket is all about a Sport, a game and not Sportsmen and if there is anyone who epitomised this then surely it has be the elegant VVS. Can the person who replaces him replicate the calmness which VVS is famous for(you can excuse him for once shouting at Pragyan Ojha). Kudos to you VVS! You left an indelible impression as human being first then as a splendid cricketer.

Posted by torsha on (August 18, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

Very well written by Srinivasan.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

I wake up 3 am in the morning to watch him bat.....along with sehwag and Sachin.

Posted by vish2020 on (August 18, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

He could have retired after playing the first test against next NZ in his hometown Hyderabad but letting it all go for the next generation and not to soak in all the claps for one last time for the better of the country and the youngsters... well, that's just VVS " VERY VERY SPECIAL"!! you will be terribly missed!

Posted by no.1_multicultural_team on (August 18, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

At the end of the day,its about being a great human being,the only true greatness one can achieve.When his teammates are praising like this,and Indians dont use word great,finest uselessly,he has achieved what any virtous man should ever aspire to.Great.

Posted by no.1_multicultural_team on (August 18, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

After reading this, He is definitely one of the cricketing greats.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

Never felt india will loose while he was batting..only player I would pay to watch

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

salute to you laxman how many people listen to their inner soul. i don't see a indian cricketer so far who has retire without the board dump him or told take retirement. be it azhar,ganguly,kumble, dravid or even great tendulkar

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

The world of cricket will miss a wonderful cricketer in VVS Lakshman. A thorough gentlemen and wonder batsman and a wonderful slip fielder would be missed in that indian team.. thanks a lot for the entertainment Sir..

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

The man who played cricket as it meant to be. Not for money. Not for fame. No fuss. period. Just pure pleasure watching him playing cricket with pure passion, natural ability and with simplicity.

He just showed the world how the game of cricket be played with everything else being secondary. Legendary Lakshman, salute to what you did for the game and country. Proud product of India.

Live rest of life the way you have been living all along..smiling!

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

For me, ever since I started following cricket VVS and Sachin have been integral part of the same. Definitely cricket will miss VVS.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

Laxman always had technical flaws (like playing away from his body on the off)...but in times of need, he was pure class. Thanks for bailing India out on so many occasions, Laxman. And please don't play IPL /T20.... the worst sight is a ballerina gyrating to a disco beat!

Posted by   on (August 18, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

RD and VVS two gentleman cricketers and backbone of the middle order leaving the centre stage will leave a void that may never be adequately filled. Cricket is poorer for their absence

Posted by Bikashkumarjena9937039837 on (August 18, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

vvs would be missed luv u laxman.

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