Indian cricketer VVS Laxman addresses a news conference announcing his retirement at the Rajiv Gandhi International cricket stadium in Hyderabad. AP/Mahesh Kumar A
Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly on Saturday saluted VVS Laxman for his contribution to the game and said he has given a "strong and clear" message to the selectors by quitting international cricket with immediate effect.
"He has sent a strong and clear message to the selectors. Making this seem like a farewell series does not make sense. It's a tough decision, a fantastic decision. He is 200% right... hats off," Ganguly said.
Regretting that selection panel chairman K Srikkanth had problem in communicating, Ganguly said the selectors should have informed Laxman in advance much before the selection of team for New Zealand that they wanted it to be his farewell series.
"You can't expect a player like Laxman to train hard to keep himself fit for only two Tests. I am surprised the selectors divulged the matter only this month. And this I think has hurt him very much," he said.
Ganguly said Laxman could not be singled out for India's recent dismal 0-8 Test record overseas.
"I was doing commentary during the series in Australia. Despite getting green-top wickets, Ishant Sharma could bag only four wickets in four Test matches. We know how Dhoni failed. Gautam Gambhir's only good contribution is a half-century. So why should only Laxman be singled out?"
"Age can't be a factor. It is a case of unequal treatment. With this policy, you cannot build a good side".
Lashing out at the selectors, Ganguly said they always go for a balancing act and do not concentrate on building a team for the future.
"They axe one player, include another. Indian cricket cannot go ahead in this manner. The thinking is the successors will take care of long term plans".
Reacting to Laxman's comment that he could not reach Dhoni, Ganguly criticised the skipper for not being available for his players all the time.
"A skipper should be available 24 hours. I don't know why Dhoni does this... But I think situation would have been different, had Laxman got Dhoni's support," he said.
Ganguly, however, showered praise on Laxman for his brilliance.
"When he came, he seemed like Azharuddin. Both were equally wristy. But later he developed as a better player than Azharuddin," he said.
VVS Laxman's factfile
Laxman excelled in pressure situations: BCCI