There seems to be no end of crisis for the 'crisis manager', VVS Laxman. He, along with Ravindra Jadeja, RP Singh, Mahela Jayawardene, Parthiv Patel and Brendon McCullum, was among the first few to go under the hammer in Saturday's players' auction for the Indian Premier League's fifth season. But unfortunately no franchise was interested in bidding for the stylish Hyderabadi batsman - who went unsold!
Laxman - who was never a hit in the slam-bang form of cricket, was given a chance by the Deccan Chargers to lead their team in the opening season of IPL, where the Chargers ended up with a wooden spoon.
Before the auction for IPL-4 last year, Laxman lowered his base price from $400,000 to $300,000 to attract prospective bidders and was eventually bought by now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala for $400,000.
However, Laxman going unsold in this auction doesn't come as a surprise, especially after his performance in the recently concluded Test series Down Under. In fact, fans now want him to hang his boots for the good.
But the question that needs to be asked is why is Laxman keen on playing the IPL? He doesn't have anything to prove. And if he wants to prove his critics wrong that he can also play the shorter version of the game, then the Test icon has got it awfully wrong.
Instead, Laxman would be an asset to any franchise as a mentor, where he can be a guiding force to the youngsters and play a key role behind the scenes. He has not been in reckoning to play for India in the one-dayers and was more than happy to represent the nation in the Tests, but even there his days seem numbered now.
We can't imagine Laxman playing a slog sweep or a switch-hit, something that will tarnish the memories of those subtle wristy flicks that could force anyone to fall in love with batsmanship. To say its end of road for Laxman in the IPL won't, thus, be totally unfair. But this gives him an opportunity to think about his future in a broader perspective - not just the IPL.