Hyderabad, Aug 18: VVS Laxman, India's batsman with 8781 runs in 134 tests, announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, despite his selection for the two-test series against New Zealand.
The 37-year-old in a news conference in his home city of Hyderabad, said, "It's been 16 years since I made my international debut for India and I feel it's the right time for me to move on."
In a trembling voice Laxman, one of the finest batsmen in contemporary cricket, said that he felt it was the right time to bid adieu to the game which he played with “great pride for the country”.
He further said, “It was a tough decision to take, I have always listened to my inner conscience. The inner voice is a divine voice, I have always done that right through my career. There was a lot of debate in the last four days. I felt this is the right time to move on”, he said.
Laxman, popular as ‘Very Very Special’, has 8,781 test runs in his kitty at an average of 45.97, 17 hundreds and 56 half centuries.
In ODI, he scored 2338 runs at an average of 30.76 in 86 matches he played. It was bad luck for the ace player that he could never be a part of India’s World Cup team.
He, however, made it clear that he will continue to play for Hyderabad till this year. He said, "I always felt that through cricket I got an opportunity to serve my country."
In response to a question on whether he had taken a hasty decision, he said, "I never regret the decisions I take, because my conscience is clear."
On his performance in recent times, he said, "There have been people who have criticized me but my set of well wishers has been more. I can tell you that it is not easy to please each and every person. Failure and success are part and parcel of a cricketer’s life.”
Rahul Dravid was the first of the senior batsmen to retire from the longer format after the team slumped to eight consecutive test defeats away from home.
Sachin Tendulkar is the last from the golden generation of Indian batsmen to still play for the country.