first_imgVVS Laxman shocked his team-mates and fans on Friday by announcing his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.Laxman was expected to play some part in the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand, for which he was picked by the BCCI earlier this month. Speculation was that the first Test of the series, to be played on his home ground in Hyderabad, would allow for a fond farewell for the ‘Miracle Man’ of Indian cricket.However, Laxman dashed all hopes of a grand send-off by quitting with immediate effect.Annoncing his decision, Laxman thanked his family, his mentors, his team-mates and his fans.134 tests and 86 ODIs later, here is what the stylish batsman had to say at a press conference in Hyderabad where he announced his decision: 16 years since my intenational debut and I feel it’s time for me to call it a day.I have always kept the nation’s ambitions ahead of my personal aspirations and would like to keep doing so.I would like to contribute to the team’s success so I think it is the right time to give opportunities to the youngsters waiting in the  wings.Fortunate to have played in an era where Indian cricket played some of the best cricket not only at home but also across the world.I would lke to thank all my teamates, and all others involved with me oer the course of my career.I would like to thank all those who gave me the freedom and independance to pursue my brand of cricket.Announcing his retirement with immediate effects, Laxman indicated that he will not play the New Zealand series.Getting emotional, Laxman reminiscised and said , “I always wanted to become a doctor, but my inner voice somehow picked up on cricket as my path in life.It was a very tough decision and till late last night I was not too sure. The “Very Very Special” batsman, who has been out of form for the last two seasons, reportedly told his close friends in the field and a couple of sports correspondents on Friday that he had decided to retire from international cricket and would like to make an announcement to this effect before the commencement of the India-New Zealand Test series for which he was picked up.”I would take a final call after discussing with my parents, wife, well-wishers, coaches and other friends,” he is learnt to have said.Laxman, who made his debut in 1996 against South Africa, has played 134 Tests scoring 8,781 runs, including 17 centuries and 56 fifties, at an average of 45.97. He has also played 86 ODIs, scoring 2,338 runs with six hundreds. (with inputs from Mail Today)advertisementlast_img