Lockdown diaries: Laxman picks up TT racquet, hosts VVS Cup at home

Former India cricketer V.V.S. Laxman is also watching old cricket matches. The entire family watched his knock of 281 against Australia in 2001.

Former India cricketer V.V.S. Laxman playing table tennis with son Sarvajit at home in Hyderabad on Saturday.   -  Special Arrangement

 

The genius is at work, but for a different reason. Cricketing great V.V.S. Laxman is trying his hand in table tennis and even hosting a VVS Cup featuring his family members at home.

“It is good to be with the kids in what is obviously the longest break in my career though for an unfortunate reason as the whole world is battling the dreaded Covid-19,” says 45-year-old Laxman in a chat with Sportstar on Saturday.

“As part of the effort to stay busy, we are playing indoor games like table tennis, carrom and chess. It is important to be active especially when you are confined at home,” he reveals his lockdown routine.

“Definitely, I am making most of this break by reading books, watching films and some of the best cricketing moments, including my own for sure,” Laxman adds.

“The whole family saw the Kolkata Test innings (Laxman’s 281 against the Aussies in 2001 Test at Eden Gardens) again. It is a different feeling to see it now as the kids are grown up,” says the great cricketer whose son Sarvajit has incidentally struck two half-centuries in the HCA Leagues recently.

Laxman reading a book with his daughter Achinthya by his side at home in Hyderabad on Saturday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

“We all enjoyed my ODI hundred in Lahore (2004), watching the 2007 Johannesburg Test win (when Laxman scored a crucial 73 in the second innings). In fact, we also watched the second innings collapse in the 1997 Test in West Indies,” he says.

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“Sarvajit is a left-hander and a huge fan of David Warner (incidentally Sunrisers Hyderabad captain). He seems to be clearly enjoying his game and I am trying to teach him a few things about the art of batting,” says Laxman. The boy cannot have a better mentor than his father.

“We are also trying to inculcate some value systems to the kids by teaching them how things cannot be taken for granted and what essentially makes one a good human being,” says the gentleman-cricketer who played 134 Tests scoring 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97 with 17 centuries between 1996-2012.

“Nothing has changed for me at home except for the fact that we cannot move out now. By default, this is the most enjoyable phase. Even when I was in Hyderabad earlier either I was busy with my commitments or my wife (Sailaja) with her schedule activity at the 1 Innings Play School started by us,” he explains.

“It is a pleasure to be with the family as the kids are also helping their mother by doing small things in their own way,” he says.

“I am in touch with many cricketers and sportspersons checking out their well-being in this hour of grave crisis,” Laxman says.

Like many celebrities from the city, the star batsman of yesteryears is also engaged in awareness campaigns appealing to the citizens to stay indoors now.

“This is the most difficult phase for everyone across the world demanding great discipline in strictly following the guidelines by staying at home,” Laxman adds.

“This is not the time to take things for granted. Everyone should think for a moment what is happening in Europe and US. We should all express solidarity with the government in its fight against the virus,” he says.

When asked what he misses the most now, he adds, “Well, any cricketer or for that matter any athlete would love to be in the thick of action out there. Sincerely praying that normalcy be restored soon.”

“But again, what is of paramount importance is the health and safety of the fans who are the biggest stakeholders in events like IPL whichis going to be missed. I am sure they all understand the grim scenario and appreciate the decisions being taken to curb the Covid-19,” says the elegant Hyderabadi.

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