Sachin Tendulkar of India acknowledges the crowd after being dismissed during day four of the Second Test Match between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 6, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
On any given day, you will find some statement or apprehension by someone appearing on the internet, sports web sites and in every form of the media about the future plans of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Interestingly, apart from the legend himself, his friends or administrators, every Tom, Dick and Harry do not miss a chance to indulge in this never ending discussion about his retirement. Here comes the cricket season and opportunists have begun to predict the actual timing of his retirement, which sometimes, I honestly believe, that Sachin himself does not know!
Not very long ago, his traditional rival Ricky Ponting had said that Brain Lara was far better than Sachin. Then, Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi also jumped into the fray and tried to provoke everyone by again raising the issue as to who is better – Lara or Sachin. Thankfully, the statistics proved that Sachin is far ahead in almost every stream of the game. But being a noble soul, Sachin played it cool and did not react, thus proving the fact that he is truly a gentleman of the game.
But everyone seems to be after Sachin. So much so, that his son Arjun is just 14 years old, but people leave no chance to issue controversial statements about him. Just a few days back, when he was not chosen for the Mumbai Under-15 team, speculators created hype out of this routine issue, and a lot of predictions were seen cropping up, especially in the print media.
Today, an article in Hindi daily Punjab Kesari suggests that Sachin would be retiring soon after playing his 200th Test match later this year. Well, this again seems to be very speculative, as Sachin has not clearly indicated anything.
I think it would be best to leave the decision up to Sachin himself. We should not continue to put pressure on him. We should simply appreciate what he has done for the country for so many years. Ultimately, when he feels he is not fit for the game, he would hang up his gloves. He is a mature enough person to realize the correct timing of his retirement.
Speculation and predictions are not good for anyone concerned. In this case especially, I think that Sachin should be left alone. Whenever his final retirement decision comes, we should accept it with open arms and salute him for his contributions. That’s all we should do!