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I am beyond 281: VVS Laxman

I am beyond 281: VVS Laxman
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The quintessential Telugu bidda, VVS Laxman, who proved his mettle on the pitch with his excellent batting prowess has now added another feather in...

The quintessential ‘Telugu bidda’, VVS Laxman, who proved his mettle on the pitch with his excellent batting prowess has now added another feather in his cap by venturing into the world of writing. The stylish cricketer has penned an autobiography titled ‘281 and Beyond’, along with R Kaushik, who has been a cricket writer for over quarter of a century.

In ‘281 and Beyond’, Laxman lays bare the ecstasy and the trauma of being one of the chosen XI in a country that is devoted to cricket. The book is slated to release on November 19. Laxman, who played over a hundred Tests and amassed more than 8,000 runs, was someone who could score against any kind of bowling. The cricket aficionados still remember with awe his game-changing knock of 281 against Australia in 2001 at Eden Gardens.

About dabbling with the book, the humble cricketer said, “Since my retirement, I was planning to write my journey. The turning point in my life was the 281 knock. In the book, I have spoken about what led me to play the match and how I was able to get fit in time for the match and my entire journey batting with Rahul Dravid on the 4th day, how we built that partnership and more. I think that Test series taught us a lot.

It gave us a progressive and aggressive mindset that we can do well against anyone in the world. The book is not just about cricket. I have shared everything in the autobiography right from my childhood. I wrote about the emotions as a 17-year-old boy, whose parents are doctors, and he has to choose between a conventional career or cricket; as cricket was not a feasible career in the 90s. I wrote about the role of parents, mentors and coaches in one’s life. The book is meant for everyone not just for people who love cricket.”

Laxman shared that it required a lot of discipline to write the book. “It was definitely not easy because of my schedule. I am truly thankful to Kaushik, who was very flexible. I had to take out time at odd hours to write the book and he was there. And my uncle who is also my mentor from my childhood motivated me and said that the book will not only benefit youngsters but also people from all age groups.”

“When I used to deliver talks as a keynote speaker, a lot of people especially the elderly would come to me and say how I inspired them and that also made for an important factor behind writing the book.” For Laxman playing for India was never easy. He was dropped as often as he was picked, and despite his vast experience and impeccable skill, he never made it to a World Cup team. “Missing out on the 2003 World Cup and how did I feel; I have written about it in the book.”

All through his playing years, Laxman was known to be a soft-spoken man who kept his distance from controversy. “I am glad that I was away from controversies. The only controversy in my career was about announcing my retirement from the game (laughs).”

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