Laxman: A not so sung hero - Contents of life

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Laxman: A not so sung hero

This is my 100th post on this blog. I had earlier planned a post on different subject, moving away from sports since my previous 15-16 posts were all related to sports -  Olympics and India.
But a news today morning changed everything.
This post is dedicated to one of the great batsman and a not so sung hero of Indian cricket - VVS Laxman.
VVS Laxman retired from test cricket today with immediate effect. He was selected for the forthcoming New Zealand series but he decided to retire without playing it.
It came as a surprise to not a few but I guess to all the followers of Cricket.
Some might have expected him to declare his retirement after the end of this series, but nobody must have expected that he will retire in such a haste.
If someone is asked what is the complete name of Laxman, the answer will be VVS Laxman.
But nobody would be able to tell what VVS means, because all they know is Very Very Special (VVS).That is his identity.
But, he was I guess the most unfortunate of the 5 gems of India.
These 5 gems can again be categorized in 3 levels

1) Sachin and Ganguly
2) Kumble and Dravid
3) Laxman

While Sachin is all time and every body's favorite, Ganguly with his aggressive attitude has earned this status close to Sachin.
Kumble and Dravid, being quiet couldn't reach that high altitude as first two but still they created a high status for themselves.
This leaves Laxman alone behind who in spite of making unbelievably great contribution to Indian cricket was lost in front of the 4 stalwarts.

Kumble- though was mostly ignored/ less considered player initially, made his mark in his fag end of the career. While retiring (the first among five) from cricket, he actually retired like "Jumbo" the name that was stuck to him. He made a grand retirement. Since he was the first among five to retire, that added a new dimension to his retirement.
Ganguly -  Though Ganguly's retirement was controversial and almost forced onto him, he took it in his stride. He made everybody  realize that he has earned it.
Dravid - Once again surely a case of forced retirement did not made that big buzz as previous two, but still he had his share on TV, newspaper, Internet media. All the applauding and saluting words related to " The Wall " were making rounds for a long time after his retirement.
Sachin -  He has gained that stature in Indian Cricket, which no other player has ever achieved. No body can force retirement on him. He will retire when he wants and now with added glory of a Rajyasabha member, will someone dare to force him into retirement. Some people may indirectly try to suggest, but all such efforts will always be futile.
This leaves Laxman as the only case who retirement did not recieve much accolades. Few words were said by Sachin and Ganguly but otherwise it was a quiet business.
He surely must have been to asked to announce his retirement after this series. He must have been offered a  condition where he retires after the series and he will receive a grand retirement and as one of TV anchor on NDTV said, all other players will take him on their shoulders and make a round of the ground and then give comments that how India has lost one great player and how the void that has been created with his retirement can not be  filled easily. BCCI will throw a party where all great liars of Indian cricket will come and brag about how Laxman was very very special.
             I liked the way Laxman instead chose and decided to retire without accepting this fake send off which none of those actually felt. In his famous way of fighting against the odd instead he chose to hang his boots immediately and without accepting their bribe. He surely has sent a message that the way they treat their senior players is not right.
           If the Indian cricket feels that a particular player is not fit to play in spite of what is his experience, they better don't choose it and ask them to prove themselves to be fit to be in the team. That will go well for the players instead of this decide the date method. Also every player is aware if he is still fit to continue playing or should he stop.
           It sounds ridiculous when people around keep suggesting that a player should retire. I was dumbstruck when people started suggesting Bindra, that he should retire, because he could not repeat his performance and could not win gold in Olympics. I was left with no words when people started suggesting  Sachin to retire giving example of Phelps who retired after a career of 4 Olympic season winning 22 medals.
           Coming back to Laxman, he was the most ignored gem of the set of 5 who actually played an inning that  changed the way Indian players started thinking. His knock of 281 runs in Kolkota against Australians in partnership with Dravid  was responsible for India snatching victory from Australians coming out of a follow on. I doubt Indians had ever done that before and his knock made it possible for Indians to think that they are a strong force who can not only stand against a strong team like Australia, but also dream of winning  over them.
It was Laxman who built this confidence in us. He repeated similar action many times in later matches and helped India win while all the other great players were getting out cheaply. People mentioned Dravid as a player who is ready to take up any responsibility, but Laxman is the only who was ready to play in any position. He is the only player who has played in all the position except 9th and 10th position.

In spite of such a great contribution, this hero is mostly ignored today after his retirement with people breathing a sigh of relief for he finally retired and making way great  emerging players ( read Rohit Sharma!!!!!).

I wish him good luck.
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