The curious case of VVS
Times change and in sports they change very quickly. VVS Laxman who during the inaugural Indian Premier League chose to play for his home franchise Deccan Chargers than any other team was not only ignored by every other team but also the Chargers.
The reason given by them was that they wanted youngsters in the side. Darren Lehmann, the coach of Deccan Chargers for which Laxman played, said that his franchise was happy that it has got a younger player in Australian Brad Hodge in place of the Indian.
“VVS is a great player and I’m sure he will be bought by some franchise down the line. But we bought a younger player in Brad Hodge in place of Laxman. We are happy,” he said
But when one looks at the age difference of Laxman and Hodge it comes to light that the former is only 58 days older. While Laxman is 37 years and 97 days old, Hodge’s age is 37 years and 39 days.
So it was clearly not the age issue. It was an indication and a big one for a player of Laxman’s stature that not many are interested in him as far as the shortest version of the game is concerned.
However, he too is partly responsible for any franchise not picking him in this year’s auction. Inspite of being out of form in the recent outings he had Down Under, he set his base price at $400000, which many think, was too high a price paying which they could buy a younger and a fitter player in the T20 format.
At the last year’s auction too Chargers didn’t pick him but a now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerela took him. Reason then could be his experience (which has obviously increased by an year) but the form certainly has dipped.
With the auctions over Laxman can now only hope that a franchise approaches him and a deal is cracked, like it happened in the case of former India captain Sourav Ganguly last year (after being unsold was later picked by Pune Warriors).
Even if that doesn’t happen then he is an intelligent player to know what lies ahead for him, as far as Twenty20 format is concerned.
By Shalabh Manmocha