Batsman's outburst at not getting a farewell Test at Kotla in 2013 surprises and disappoints national selectors
Virender Sehwag has done what he was so used to doing in his playing days – hitting hard and leaving the bowlers nonplussed. It is learnt that the national selectors were surprised yesterday when they read about Sehwag's outburst at not being given a farewell.
Also Read: Pain of not getting farewell game shall always remain, says Sehwag
Virender Sehwag walks back after being dismissed in the Durban Test against SA in 2010. Pic/Getty Images
"Had the selectors told me they were going to drop me, I could have requested them to allow me to play my last Test in Delhi (vs Australia in 2013) and then announce my retirement, but they did not give me that opportunity. A sort of sadness shall always remain in my mind that I was not allowed to retire while playing, but anyway, it's all a part of life for a sportsman," Sehwag was quoted as saying on India TV's show Aap Ki Aadalat.
"We are surprised to read about what Sehwag said (in the TV programme). By saying that he would have requested for a farewell Test had we told him that we won't pick him, means he admitted being at the end of his road. Selectors have no right to tell any player that he won't be picked again. Anyone can make a comeback through big scores and we are always aware of that," said a selector on condition of anonymity.
"Should not a player who has played 12 to 13 years for his country, deserves a farewell match," asked Sehwag on TV. Sandeep Patil's selection committee did not consider the aggressive batsman after he was out – caught behind off Australia's Peter Siddle for 6 in the Hyderabad Test of 2013. The next Test was played in Mohali while the fourth and final was at New Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla, Sehwag's home ground where he wanted to bid international cricket goodbye.
"Why only one Test? He would have got many more had he scored runs. Things don't work like this in cricket. It is disappointing to hear such things from Viru, a good player and bloke too," said the selector, obviously peeved at the criticism directed at the panel. Meanwhile, Sehwag joins the small list of big-named players to miss out when it came to the 'ideal' final Test.
Mohammed Azharuddin was not picked again (for his alleged involvement in match-fixing) after his 99th Test — vs SA at Bangalore where he scored a hundred. And Australia's wicketkeeping great Ian Healy was reportedly denied a farewell Test at his home ground in Brisbane (vs Pakistan in 1999) by chief selector Trevor Hohns. Sehwag is known for taking things in his stride and those who knew him well reckon he will get over this disappointment as well. The felicitation for him planned at the Kotla at the end of the Test series against SA will be one to cherish for sure.