Hyderabad: VVS Laxman, who won many a match for India with his wristy elegance including an epic 281 against Australia in Kolkata, today announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, bringing down the curtains on a glorious career spanning 16 years.
The 37-year-old 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". "I would like to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect. I think it's right time to move on", an emotional Laxman told a press conference here.
Laxman, who was picked in the Indian squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand beginning here from 23 August, surprisingly chose to hang his boots with immediate effect without taking the opportunity to bow out of international cricket in front of his home crowd.
"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, who earned the sobriquet 'Very Very Special' for his style and flair, played 134 Tests, amassing 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97. He scored 17 hundreds and 56 half centuries in the longer format of the game.
Laxman, who was not a regular in India's ODI team, played 86 matches for an aggregate of 2338 at an average of 30.76. Unfortunately for him, he could never be a part of India's World Cup campaigns which remains one of his biggest regrets.
"I have always kept my country's success and need ahead of my personal aspirations. And while I would love contributing to the team's success, especially against England and Australia, I think this is the right to give opportunity to the youngsters in home conditions ahead of international assignments", he said.