Former cricketers yesterday lauded the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for playing with a straight bat on Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement speculations. Sanjay Patel, the Board’s honorary secretary denied a newspaper report, which stated that a senior BCCI official would talk to the legendary batsman and persuade him to quit the game after his 200th Test.
Tendulkar, who is on 198 Tests, is likely to achieve the milestone against the West Indies next month. What started off as a minor briefing by Patel about the new title sponsors for all domestic and international matches in India for the remainder of the 2013-14 season, the impromptu media interaction went on for about ten minutes, with the secretary talking on a host of other issues.
It appeared Patel did not like the speculative report. “That is absolutely absurd and rubbish. Let me tell you, it will be the prerogative of Mr Sachin Tendulkar. The Board has not talked or asked him to resign and the Board is never going to do it because he is such a great player.
“Please refrain from going with such wrong details. It is entirely up to Sachin Tendulkar and the selectors. The selectors should pick him and Sachin Tendulkar should be ready to play. The Board is very happy with whatever Sachin Tendulkar is taking (decisions) of his own free will,” Patel told reporters outside the BCCI headquarters yesterday.
The right thing
Former India captain Ajit Wadekar said the Board did the right thing by making its stand clear on this sensitive issue. “I would say ‘well played, BCCI’. It was a must. There are a lot of rumours doing the rounds regarding Tendulkar’s retirement. I did not trust it (the report) because no Board would get involved in such things. They have a selection committee which picks players. Players can speak to selectors regarding their plans.
So, why would a Board official talk to Tendulkar about his retirement?” Wadekar said. Like others, Wadekar felt Tendulkar should take the final call. “He is playing this game for a very long time. He knows when to call it a day. No one has any business to talk about his retirement. We should trust him to make the call,” said Wadekar, who was Tendulkar’s manager on a few tours.
Former pacer Balvinder Singh Sandhu too lauded the BCCI. “They have done the right thing with this statement. It was much needed. The final call should rest with Tendulkar. Sachin has been making all the right decisions on the cricket field. So, he will get this timing right as well. He will decide at the right time. Let’s just allow him to enjoy his cricket. We should not be in a hurry to end his career,” he said.