"I was always amazed by his simplicity," recalled Laxman of Jaisimha, who passed away on July 7, 1999.
"When attending the Nutrine under 13 cricket coaching camp that he conducted, I remember he would come to the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation stadium in Vijawayada on a bicycle. That was something incredible for a legendary cricketer about whom we had heard so much," the batting virtuoso told PTI.
Laxman’s affection for Jaisimha, in fact, extended well beyond the field when his appeal to the TVS Motor Company resulted in ‘My way — the biography of M.L. Jaisimha.’
The book was launched in 2005 by Sunil Gavaskar, who considered Jaisimha, who led Hyderabad for 14 consecutive Ranji seasons, his all time hero.
"A purist when it came to the game, one would always see him in immaculate whites," Laxman said.
Among all his interactions with Jaisimha, Laxman’s fondest memory of the man was his understanding of the game.
"For India you may be an opener, but for Hyderabad you can come one down’," Laxman recalled the Hyderabad coach telling him.
The advice stood vindicated when his ward, coming in at No. 3, scored 281 against Steve Waugh’s Australia at the Eden Gardens, billed by Wisden as the ‘Innings of the century.’
"A great strategist and excellent man manager, the way in which he instilled confidence in each Hyderabad player was fantastic to see," said Laxman.
"Although Jaisimha Sir was afflicted with cancer in his last days as Hyderabad’s coach, he never made it known, showing his ability to endure severe pain. I was also inspired by his passion for and knowledge of the game," he added.