Man Singh, Manager of India’s 1983 World cup winning team and cricket administrator
It is unfair and difficult to compare two sports men. When you talk about the achievements and performances of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, you cannot compare it to those of V.V.S Laxman or for that matter any other Indian cricketer. Sachin had played international cricket for 24 years whereas Laxman has done so for 16 years. The comparisons are not fair.
The Master Blaster’s accomplishments have been abnormal. However, I agree that services tendered by any sportsperson whether on or off the field should get due recognition, which unfortunately our state government has not been doing. For whatever V.V.S Laxman has done for the state and Indian cricket, he has got due recognition.
Going back in history, in 1971, five cricketers from Hyderabad were in the Indian team, but the then state government has not bothered to give them recognition.
The biggest difference bet-ween the widely acknowledged greatest batsman and others is the longevity of representing the country at international level. Because of this, Sachin had the opportunity to perform, but one cannot take away the fact that he was very talented and had the potential compared to other cricketers. Most importantly, success never went to his head. He has always been a humble human being which is extremely important for any successful individual.
His dedication to the game, hard work for years, hunger for success, just did not stop with a few victories. He went on to become the world’s greatest batsman. His natural instinct to fight the countless injuries he suffered during every game is commendable.
I would like to record my appreciation and thanks to him for having inaugurated my cricket museum and library. We wish him all the best for his further endeavours and we hope he puts back into the game what he got out of it. For his commendable journey he well deserves the highest civilian honour — the Bharat Ratna. He is also the first sportsperson to receive it.
Laxman deserved better farewell
Dr A. Prasanna Kumar, Director, Centre for Policy Studies and ex-All India Radio Broadcaster
On a day when every Indian saluted with moist eyes the retirement of the greatest Indian batsman and a legendary sporting icon, Sachin Tendulkar, one wonders whether enough justice has been done to his two other great teammates, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman.
Sachin himself once said: “When Laxman bats you just stand at the other end and watch and tell yourself not to get carried away.” Brett Lee agreed with his skipper Steve Waugh that if you get Dravid, great. If you get Sachin, brilliant. If you get Laxman, it’s a miracle. Ricky Ponting sounded mean when he said, “I hope his back’s pretty sore for the next week as well and he can’t play.”
How I wish Hyderabad with its rich sporting tradition had made a similar gesture for V.V.S. Laxman who made the city, the state and the nation proud with his unforgettable performances in India and abroad. How many times the gentle colossus from Hyderabad has saved India from the depths of gloom one cannot easily recall.
Similarities abound between them. They embody Gavaskar’s recipe of 3 Ds for aspiring cricketers — discipline, determination and dedication. In humility and gentlemanliness they are without doubt the quintessential cricketers, torch bearers of the spirit of ‘The Noblest Game.’
I salute Laxman more than any other cricketer for the grace with which he has borne the rather shabby manner in which he was shunted up and down the batting order from No. 1 to 7 throughout his career. Even his place in the team was reportedly in doubt on some occasions!
In the hugely populated city of joy, Kolkata, two great feats on the green turf are etched in public memory as the most memorable sporting events. One is Ramanathan Krishnan’s magnificent comeback from 2-5 down in the decider against Brazil's Tomas Koch, to take India for the first time into the Challenge Round of the Davis Cup in 1966.
After 35 years, on a bigger green surface, another shy and gentle south Indian, V.V.S. Lax-man, scored a magnificent double century that enabled India to recover and triumph over the mighty Australia. Like the saying goes, great sportsmen are remembered more abroad than at home.