India's VVS Laxman announces retirement from international cricket
India's VVS Laxman has announced his immediate retirement from international cricket after a 16-year career.
The 37-year-old had been picked for the first of the two-Test series against New Zealand, which starts in his home town of Hyderabad on 23 August.
But Laxman, who scored 17 hundreds in 134 Tests and six in 86 one-day internationals, will now not take part.
"I am retiring with immediate effect. I think this is the right time to move on," Laxman said.
Laxman had a sparse time of it in the previous two summers, first in England in 2011 and then in Australia, scoring 337 runs in eight Tests.
Indian commentators, including Indian greats Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, called the selection of Laxman for the New Zealand series a retrograde step.
Laxman made his Test debut against South Africa in Ahmedabad in 1996, scoring 51 in the second innings as India won by 64 runs.
However, and despite his lavish talent, he did not score his first Test century until January 2000, when he made 167 against Australia in Sydney.
In March 2001, he made 281 and put on 376 with Rahul Dravid in Kolkata to force an extraordinary win against Australia, India having followed on.
That knock was voted by Wisden as the sixth greatest Test match innings of all time.
He was at his best against the formidable Aussie side of the 2000s, also scoring two tons in the 2003-04 series down under and six in all against them.
Laxman also scored four of his six ODI tons against the Aussies, although he was never a fixture in the Indian side for the shorter forms of the game.
He ends his international career having scored 8781 Test runs at an average of 45.97 and 2338 one-day runs at an average of 30.76.