Bangalore: Such is V.V.S. Laxman’s stature that Elite Panel umpires Ian Gould and Steve Davis, officiating in the India versus New Zealand Test here, walked up to him and wished him “all the best” in his post-cricket innings.
It was Gould first, followed by Davis, at the ITC Gardenia.
The Hyderabad-based Laxman and his family have been at the hotel from Friday evening, as guests of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), which will felicitate him on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to The Telegraph on Saturday, Gould said: “One will miss Laxman... Cricketers like him are always missed... Right through, I’ve found him to be so charming... A wonderful guy.”
The 37-year-old Laxman, who’d been picked for the ongoing series, chose to retire just days before the first Test (in Hyderabad), taking everybody by surprise.
Laxman, however, is “happy” and “comfortable” with the decision made a fortnight ago.
Happy, too, is wife Sailaja. But why did she almost break down at Laxman’s media conference, which was beamed live by so many channels?
Looking a bit sheepish, Sailaja replied: “I didn’t want to, but seeing him get emotional, it was tough to control myself.”
As acknowledged by Laxman, the soft-spoken Sailaja has been a “pillar of strength.”
Harbhajan Singh, meanwhile, has called Laxman “the finest human being.”
“It’s wonderful that the KSCA is honouring Laxman... In my book, he’s the finest human being and somebody like him deserves to be feted,” Harbhajan maintained, in a brief one-on-one.
Nobody will disagree with the sentiments expressed by Harbhajan, who is back in the India squad (T20s for now) after a year.