SPORT

A wonderful chance to prove potential: Laxman

HYDERABAD MARCH.29. Test cricketer V. V. S. Laxman feels that the forthcoming West Indies tour will be yet another opportunity for him to play to his potential. ``The tour also presents a wonderful chance of winning a Test series on a foreign soil despite the Caribbean's being a very competitive side on their home soil,'' he explained.

Replying to the felicitation organised by the Hyderabad Cricket Association at Gymkhana Grounds here this evening, the 28-year-old, elegant, middle-order batsman felt that he was grateful to the cricketing fraternity for having great expectations from him on this tour.''

However, this is not to state that I will under any sort of pressure. My primary objective will be to convert the good starts into big knocks,'' he added.

Commenting on the pitches in West Indies, Laxman recalled except for the Barbados Test, in which India was bowled out for 80-plus chasing a target of 120, most of the tracks were not really quick. ``Obviously, one is not sure what can be their strategy this time around,'' he said.

He pointed out that he worked a lot on fielding, particularly at his now familiar second slip position, and also that he is aware of the problems he sometimes faces in running between the wickets. He thanked all his coaches, family members, Hyderabad team-mates and the HCA officials for their unstinted support right through.

``In fact, I would also take this opportunity to congratulate HCA for organising the one-day international against Zimbabwe in a wonderful way. I always had a dream to play for my country at Lal Bahadur Stadium. And it was a thrilling experience despite not coming good personally,'' he remarked.

``I would love to come back by contributing my bit to an Indian victory,'' he concluded.

Earlier, Hyderabad Ranji coach Arshad Ayub said that the strong point of Laxman is his self-belief which is an essential ingredient for a successful cricketer. ``He is capable of scoring centuries quite regularly and all I wish is that he plays all the strokes but with a little bit of caution. For, I had seen how he played during that triple century against Karnataka in Ranji Trophy semi-final the previous season. I hope he will be come back as one of the most influential members of the team,'' Arshad observed.

Mr. C. V. Anand, IPS, commented that Laxman has the class and the potential to change the fortunes of Indian cricket in an away-series as he done against the Steve Waugh-led Australians with that `momentous'' knock of 281 at Eden Gardens last year. ''We sincerely wish that he keeps the Hyderabad flag flying,'' he said.

Mr. G. P. Surana, president of HCA, felicitated Laxman by presenting him a memento. Mr. Anand also honoured T. Suman, member of the recent India under-19 World Cup team.

Earlier, Mr. M. V. Sridhar, joint secretary of HCA, introduced the guests. Mr. G. Vinod, vice-president of HCA, proposed vote of thanks.

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