It was on this very date (August 18) in 2012, India’s batting legend VVS Laxman called time on his international cricket career. Laxman had retired from the game in a controversial fashion after he was selected to play in the home Test series against New Zealand.
Laxman’s decision came as a shock for many given that first Test of the series against New Zealand was scheduled to be played at his home ground, Hyderabad. He could have featured in that Test and cherish a memorable retirement in front of the jam-packed local crowd.
VVS Laxman’s sudden retirement also led to an unwarranted controversy after he told the reporters that he failed to communicate with MS Dhoni, the then captain of Indian cricket team.
“I did try to get in touch with Dhoni but as you know it’s very difficult to reach him,” Laxman had said during his retirement press conference.
The strained relationship between Laxman and Dhoni went a notch above when the former threw a party at his house and chose to not invite the latter. When Dhoni was asked at the pre-match press conference if he was invited by Laxman, he had replied in a clear "No".
MS Dhoni had also paid a very little attention to the fact that Laxman could not get through to him to inform him about his immediate retirement plans ahead of the New Zealand Test series.
"You need to ask Laxman about it," Dhoni had said about Laxman's sudden retirement.
Before hanging up his boots, Laxman appeared in 134 Test matches for India. The batting legend amassed 8781 Test runs at an average of 45.97 with 17 centuries whereas he scored 2338 ODI runs in 86 games at an average of 30.76 with 6 tons and 10 fifties.
More than his impressive Test career, VVS Laxman is known for his iconic Test innings. Cricket fans still remember the way he single-handedly defeated the No.1 Australian team on numerous occasions. His epic 281 against Australian after being made to follow-on during the 2001 Eden Gardens is etched in the memory of everyone.