No ultimatum to Tendulkar: Patil, BCCI

The chief selector said Tendulkar will tour South Africa after the home series against West Indies.

Sandeep Patil, chief of the BCCI selection committee, on Wednesday categorically refuted media reports that he has spoken to Sachin Tendulkar and given the master batsman an ultimatum to take a call on his Test career after his 200th Test. Tendulkar will reach the landmark in the home series against West Indies in November, and there has been speculation on whether he would call time on his long career following the series.

Patil, however, told PTI that he has not spoken to Tendulkar for close to a year. "It's always a pleasure to meet Sachin, but I have not met him for the last 10 months. I have not called him, neither has he called me. We have not discussed anything, It's all non-sense," Patil told the news agency.

Meanwhile the BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla reiterated that no conversation had taken place between the chief selector and Tendulkar. "There is no truth in the report. We have spoken to both Tendulkar and Patil, no such conversation ever took place," Shukla said.

Further giving an indication that Tendulkar is likely to continue his career even after his 200th Test, Patil told CNN-IBN that Tendulkar is likely to tour South Africa following the home series against West Indies.

Earlier on Wednesday, The Indian Express reported that Patil had told Tendulkar that after his 200th Test, it will only be his form and not his past record that will matter when selectors pick the team for future Tests. "Those in the know say that days after the West Indies series was finalised, Patil spoke to BCCI chief N Srinivasan seeking clarity on Sachin Tendulkar," the report added.

Tendulkar has been far from his prolific best in the recent past. In his last 17 Test, Tendulkar has scored only 872 runs with a highest score of 94 at an average of 31.14; and his last Test century was in Cape Town in January 2011.

The Indian Express report also said that the selection committee is keen on giving promising talent opportunities in the future. “Patil spoke to Sachin Tendulkar and made him understand the entire scenario. He even told him about the selectors’ plan for the next one year and how they were looking to blood more youngsters,” a selector told the daily.

"We have got a bunch of youngsters and they all have been performing well. No one can question Sachin Tendulkar. What he has done is remarkable but we also have to look at the future. We have several talented players waiting to get one chance to prove themselves," the selector was quoted as saying in the report.

A former India teammate and a close friend of Tendulkar recently told Hindustan Times that he could also tour England next July. “He hasn’t put a full stop on anything yet. He will take a call on touring England next year for the five Tests (in July-September) after the tours of South Africa, and maybe New Zealand. Don’t be surprised if he goes to England next July too,” Tendulkar's friend said.

Tendulkar had himself said earlier this month that he is no rush to announce his retirement. "I don't think at this stage I need to do that. I have this formula — don't jump forward — and this is how I have approached my career.”