New Delhi: The cricketing fraternity hailed Indian middle-order batsman as he drew the curtains over his brilliant career Saturday after having been picked for the home Test series against New Zealand starting next week.
Indian cricket board president N. Srinivasan said in a press statement: "Not many batsmen made batting look as easy as VVS Laxman. He was an exceptional cricketer, who excelled in pressure situations.
"The classic innings that he essayed in crisis situations shaped the history of Indian cricket, none more so than the 281 against Australia at Kolkata in March 2001. 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."
Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar tweeted: "When I walk out to play in Hyderabad I will feel a deep void. A void that can never be fulfilled.
"One of the best players Indian cricket has seen and I have played with will no longer be with me. It has been an absolute pleasure to share some of my greatest cricketing moments with a true legend of the game and a thorough gentleman. VVS, the team and I will miss you.
"I will forever cherish the 16 years we have played together."
Yuvraj Singh, who is to receive the Arjuna Award, tweeted minutes after Laxman announched his retirement: "Honoured to get the arjuna award! But. Really sad VVS has retired! I was hoping he would play end of the year ! Nicest human being ever. Someone with a heart of gold.
An absolute team man and mattered the most when India needed him Great in my books a legend who played for India. And a very special friend! Dear very very special you will be missed!"
Former cricketer Bapu Nadkarni expressed surprise at Laxman`s retirement. "I thought he would play the series against New Zealand. Why the suspense? He could have done it earlier. Anyway, he is one of the true champions of Indian batting."
Former middle-order batsman Chandu Borde was also a bit puzzled at Laxman`s decision.
"He is one of the finest batsmen India has produced, one of the greats of the game, soft spoken and a very good team man," said Borde.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh tweeted: "Laxman u were amazing cricketer everyone knows but u were surely the best human being I have ever met. God bless you with all the happiness in future. Lax we are going to miss you. You are a legend. Sending love and wishes all the way from Essex. Wish I was part of your last test. Gonna miss you vvs. god bless."
Chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth said he too was hoping Laxman would extend his stay.
"We were hoping he would play the series against New Zealand. But we all have to respect his personal decision. He`s one of the greatest to have played the game."
Eminent cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted: "A man of great dignity says good bye with great dignity. That is how vvs laxman has always been #vvs. was privileged to watch and know an artist over the years. What a batsman but also what a team player. requires a very special man to turn his back on a grandstand end & accept the moment has come. rose in my eyes if he could any more #vvs.
"What a pleasure speaking to vvs just now. He said he has no bitterness and is completely at peace with himself. so good to hear. He said first thought came 4-5 days ago. voice within said you must go with the ideals with which you played the game #vvs. vvs said he`d worked very hard last 3 months and was very keen to beat England and Australia at home. but then realised this was the moment."
Australian batsman Michael Clarke tweeted: "Congrats to VVS Laxman on an amazing career."
Explosive batsman Virender Sehwag tweeted: "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."
First Published: Saturday, August 18, 2012, 22:28