The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the cricketing fraternity paid glowing tributes to V.V.S. Laxman, who retired from international cricket on Saturday.
BCCI president N. Srinivasan: He was an exceptional cricketer, who excelled in pressure situations. 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. His record against Australia,the world’s no. 1 team for the better part of his career, speaks for itself.
National selection panel chief Krishnamachari Srikkanth: A great cricketer and a gentleman. Came up with some great knocks for India including that 281 in Kolkota. Somehow he never quite got the kind of recognition he deserved. After a long time, India will now enter a Test without giants, Laxman and Rahul Dravid.
Sachin Tendulkar: When I walk out to play in Hyderabad I will feel a deep void. A void that never can be filled. My dear friend Laxman, 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 him).
Javagal Srinath: I think one of the best careers has come to an end. Laxman was a simple man who could play brilliant cricket. Many people referred to him as ‘Very Very Special’, but I would say he was ‘Very Very Simple’. His knock – 281 – against Australia changed the dimension of the game. It also took India onto a different dimension. Ideally it would have been better if he had finished at Hyderabad.
Venkatesh Prasad: One abiding memory of Laxman is his knock in Sydney (167), I was there and I saw he stood alone there. If that was huge, something special followed in 2001 in Kolkata when he played that knock of 281. Well, there is a time for everyone to go and I am sure he would have arrived at this decision after a hard thought. But it will be very difficult for anyone to fill in those shoes.
Nari Contractor: A few of his innings have been real gems. To have come up with such innings in times of crisis was special. He has served Indian cricket very well.
Bapu Nadkarni: He is one of the true champions of Indian batting.
Chandu Borde: 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.
Sourav Ganguly: Even (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, (Gautam) Gambhir, Ishant (Sharma) failed in Australia. It’s a complete case of treating unequally. Age cannot be a factor. Ishant could take only five wickets from four Test matches. If Laxman is singled out, then why not others?