Dhoni not invited to late night party of Laxman

Hyderabad: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday added more fuel to the intense speculation about his strained relationship with V V S Laxman, saying he was not invited for a late night party thrown by the retired cricketer at his residence.

Laxman, who retired from the game in controversial fashion just ahead of the series against New Zealand even though he was selected for the two Tests, threw a party on Tuesday for senior members Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan at his residence in Manikonda in the suburbs of the city. He, however, chose to ignore Dhoni for the bash.

When Dhoni was asked at the pre-match press conference if he was invited by Laxman, he replied in a clear "No".

The skipper also chose to pay little attention to the fact that Laxman could not get through to him to inform him about his immediate retirement plans ahead of the series.

"You think it`s a controversy but people who know me always complained that I`m someone who is quite difficult to get hold of. That was one of the reasons why Laxmanbhai could not get hold of me," Dhoni told reporters ahead of the first cricket Test against New Zealand starting here tomorrow.

"That`s not something new. I have tried to improve but it seems I have not really improved," he said.

Asked about Laxman`s sudden retirement, pat came Dhoni`s reply: "You need to ask Laxman about it."

Laxman, who trained hard at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for about four months and also played in two local matches keeping in mind the fresh season ahead, suddenly announced his retirement last week, fuelling speculation that all was not well in the Indian camp.

According to unconfirmed reports, Laxman was handed a two-match ultimatum by one of the selectors.

The elegant middle-order batsman, known for his second innings heroics including an epic 281 against Australia in Kolkata, was unhappy about the ultimatum which is believed to be the reason behind his sudden retirement. .

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