NEW DELHI - Veteran Indian batsman Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday, saying it was time to make way for the next generation.
"I am retiring with immediate effect. I think this is the right time to move on," the stylish middle-order batsman, who turns 38 in November, told reporters in his home city of Hyderabad.
"I have always kept the country's success ahead of personal aspirations. I think it is time to give youngsters a chance at home ahead of a tough season.
Laxman, better known by his initials VVS, played 134 Tests since his debut in 1996, scoring 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97 with 17 centuries and 56 fifties.
He also scored 2,338 runs in 86 one-day internationals with six hundreds, but had not been part of India's limited-overs squad since 2006.
Laxman decided to call it a day even though he was included in the Indian squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand starting in front of home fans in Hyderabad on Thursday.
"Till last night I was unable to make up my mind, but in the end I listened to my inner voice and arrived at my decision to retire," he said.
"I informed the chairman of selectors (Krishnamachari Srikkanth) this morning that I am not going to continue playing for India. I also spoke to many of my team-mates.
"They were surprised that I was retiring before the series. It was all very emotional."