Retirement is an inevitable bittersweet moment in every sports person career; on one side, it hails the illustrious career, where on the flip side it also marks the end. However, the retirement of VVS Laxman signifies true gentlemanship. The whole nation should respect his decision and be grateful to him for serving over a decade and half. For a nation which feels ecstatic even for an Olympic Bronze medal, it is obvious that they will be proud about his achievements. At the same time, the thought of Laxman not crouching in the slips forever is what makes a bitter pill to swallow.
As the famous quote goes, “All the world’s a stage …” I would say, “All ground’s a canvas, and Laxman’s an incredible artist. He was elegance personified and his sense of class is hard to replicate.
A few days back, Laxman mentioned that he was fit and was keen on playing at home. He had rigorous batting sessions when the rest of the team were busy unveiling the Team India jersey. 18 Aug 2012, suddenly all cards turned upside down, a decision has certainly upset a lot of people.
Though Laxman’s retirement was an expected one, the phrase “immediate effect” grabs some needful attention. He certainly made this decision in a hurry because if he had the intention to hang his boots he would have declared it few months ago just like Dravid did. Or else a fitting farewell in his home ground would have been the right choice. However, he left quietly.
A player who practiced hard for the last four months to make his name one last time and a just a week before, he decided to call it quits. Perhaps that is what makes this retirement more tragic than others. His loyalty and commitment after all was unquestioned throughout his career, and perhaps Srikanth and his fellow selectors would have done some good in reciprocating some of that. A player who does not heed to any criticism for so many years, what inner voice prompted him to take that decision is a million dollar question. Moreover, he added that he would continue playing in the national level cricket, which reflects that he still has that passion, and love for the game. There would definitely be a point of humiliation which prompted this decision. It was disgraceful the way the entire situation is being handled.
However, Laxman did not care for all this. He fixes up his mind with a decision and goes accordingly. Hours before the announcement, there is a strong report that HCA people requested him to bid adieu at his home ground so that a fitting valedictory ceremony can be hosted. Here comes the difference between a normal cricketer and gentleman cricketer. He did not listen to anyone or get influenced by emotions. He followed his heart and in turn won many hearts rather than be forced out ingloriously by the dissenting voices. Curiously, the same people are all praises now, now that he has stepped out.
Indian cricket will definitely miss that silken touch, that deftness of wrist and that indomitable temperament. We will hopefully look for some youngsters to fill that void to some extent, if not completely.