Player retirements December 6, 2012

Why Sachin and Shahid should let the curtain fall

What do you do when the magic dies? When eyes, slower in reaching focus, and hands and body, sluggish in finding shapes and arcs, betray you?
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What do you do when the magic dies? When eyes, slower in reaching focus, and hands and body, sluggish in finding shapes and arcs, betray you? What do you do about your pride and honour, once spurs to glory, now flotsam battered by a surging wave of public criticism? A lucky few are able to define their success, whereas all of us are defined by our response to failure. Failure is the new success, says the wisdom of our age, making any victory sweeter and better. But when you've passed your peak each failure is a step closer to mediocrity.

We might salute Sachin Tendulkar's tenacity, his determination to defy age and grind out a performance in Calcutta. We might equally lament the passing of genius. When Ricky Ponting's cut has lost its thrust, when his mind commands dominate and his body replies abdicate, our thoughts prefer to linger on the swashbuckler once admired by enemies. For a great player, it is much harder to leave a sport than it is to enter it.

Always leave them wanting more, said Walt Disney or PT Barnum, and it is essential advice for any performer, even programmed into the genetic code of Australians. The three great Australian cricketers of the modern era, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Ponting, certainly obeyed the instruction of their DNA. When you look for reasons why Australian cricket has been consistently successful, your search begins and ends here. Ruthless self-appraisal is rare in humans but Australian cricketers consider it common. On their frequent media and cricketing visits to India, they might consider adding ruthless self-appraisal to the South Asian gene pool.

Leaving them wanting more has never been popular among South Asian cricketers. Leave them wanting no more is how the giants of our game tend to retire. Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad, and now Sachin have all hung around in the middle too long, their greatness dulled by the ordinariness of their final efforts. Any sensible advisor would point Sachin to the exit door marked 'dignity preserved' for it only appears briefly before the sign changes to 'dignity lost'. This difficult England series, or a final tussle with Pakistan, are opportunities before the sign on the door is repainted. Sachin should take it.

Shahid Afridi does not intrude on any debates on greatness but he does when the conversation turns to box-office appeal. Sixteen years and counting, Afridi's razzamatazz career rolls on dividing opinion as it blazes past. At first he was a sensation, and then a hero impatient for a starring role. His next phase was most compelling: an entertainer comfortable with his repertoire, confident of which tricks to execute and which to leave in his magic box. Leg break, googly, top spinner, faster ball, rocket ball, thank you very much. Some measured hitting--now and then, even when it mattered like the 2009 T20 World Cup, Afridi's moment. How the crowd gasped when it happened.

How the crowd mutters now. Thirty runs and four wickets in his last six T20 internationals, little different in one-day internationals, Afridi is another star in need of ruthless self-appraisal. Leave them wanting more, that's how Afridi has played every innings in his career. Like Sachin and Ponting, his will to succeed lives on and is to be applauded. But like Sachin and unlike Ponting, Afridi is in danger of making the biggest mistake any star can, playing for the gallery when the magic has died.

Heart and impulse have always ruled Afridi's world. They will propel him to another joust with India this winter, another opportunity, perhaps the best possible moment, to leave them wanting more. The stage is set, the box office full, Shahid, let the curtain fall.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • GMav on February 17, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Great article. Indian cricketers should look at the Australians. How they have maintained their place at the top. Australian Greats have always retired when they felt they weren't as good as they used to be. Our Great players should also make place for younger players and help them reach the heights of fame and glory they attained. More importantly the Country and the team should be foremost in their mind. We need a new crop of players. A team with all 11 players delivering in terms of bat and ball would do more to win the game than depending on one great player to deliver.

  • Sarwar Naqvi on February 4, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    You talking about Afridi retiring now? WHAT! you are obviously kidding. He has at least 5 more years to give us his best because his best is not over yet.

  • Amit on January 20, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi how can u compare Sachin and Afridi. There is day light gap between Sachin and Afridi. Reporter once asked sachin that people says best time for Sachin to retire is just after 2011 WC. Sachin given a befitting reply to the question.He said WC is for the people of India i can not make it my personal event by announcing my retirement. If i took retire after winning the WC, It would have been my farewell event instead of WC winning moment, I dont want Indians to forget the celebration of winning the world cup Because it was never about Sachin it was always about India and world cup. Sachin has ruled the cricket world for 23 yr and he will definitely show his class one more time before walking into the sunset even with so called slow reflexes. Let him choose the place and time to say good bye, cricket own alot from Sachin.

  • Ray on January 4, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    It's ridiculous Tendulkar hasn't retired already.....the RIGHT time would have been at LATEST once he had the World Cup. That was almost 2 years ago! He is basically a selfish person.

    The right way would have been like Gavaskar, Imran Khan, or other classy individuals.

  • Muneer Alam on December 29, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Age matters but more than that its performance which is the ultimate decision maker. Afridi has been a continuous failure with bat and especially he has let down the expectations of both the team and fans for he has played no match winning innings for a long time time. This "he is good with the ball" thing has no value when it comes to results. You need to fire when the team needs you, whether it be with the ball or bat and Afridi has time and again showed that he is good for nothing. Its always better to retire with honor than to be kicked out and be disgraced.

  • Ali safwan on December 24, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Man > You abbasi.. I love the way you write and combine things in to one word. But I'm gonna disagree on this one> Afridi has always been a fighter and a warrior. He likes challenges and always come good after getting down.. PCB has never shown true respect to their best warriors > It's just a matter of time because no matter what happens there is always light in indians Tunnels and Afridi will surely get Over it>

  • Omar Khan on December 20, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    It would bea big mistake to include Afridi after his continuing very poor performance over the last three years . A player with even worse record over the last three years is Shoab Malik . Why is he included for the India Tour ? Also , it would be a very big mistake to include Misbah and Youns Khan for the ODIs . In both ODIs and T20s they bat Asif they are playing to draw aTest Match . They simply cannot score a run a ball anymore .

  • aftab from VB on December 19, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    The news coming from Pakistan is good. Looks like Misbah has found a perfect partner in Inzi to help PCB make sense and get Afridi in the loop. Big hitting may succeed rarely but leaves long term impressions. I read once an Australian in Pakistan was looking to buy the bat that Afridi uses. Way to go!

  • Suresh on December 19, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    I agree Both should retire, before that I want to see Sachin and Afridi Open the batting for their countries and blast the bowling attack in one last series. leave with people standing and clapping when they are going in to the dressing room, taking Man of the Match awards. Sachin and Afridi... where is the magic gone... come on.. play your natural game...ATTACK....

  • Humayun Archad Butt on December 18, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    I will not comment on Tendulkar and in my opinion Mr. Abbasi you also should not have done so whether or not he should retire . As for Afridi I totally agree that he should retire . He can bowl a bit butt here are several other bowlers much better than him waiting for an opportunity to join the Pakistan Team . However , Afridi has been a total failure as a batsman for the last several years and it is a pain to watch him at . More importantly , while you have rotten on the need forFridi to retire , how about Shoaib Malik ? He can neither bat nor bowl , why is he included inthe Team ?

  • GMav on February 17, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Great article. Indian cricketers should look at the Australians. How they have maintained their place at the top. Australian Greats have always retired when they felt they weren't as good as they used to be. Our Great players should also make place for younger players and help them reach the heights of fame and glory they attained. More importantly the Country and the team should be foremost in their mind. We need a new crop of players. A team with all 11 players delivering in terms of bat and ball would do more to win the game than depending on one great player to deliver.

  • Sarwar Naqvi on February 4, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    You talking about Afridi retiring now? WHAT! you are obviously kidding. He has at least 5 more years to give us his best because his best is not over yet.

  • Amit on January 20, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi how can u compare Sachin and Afridi. There is day light gap between Sachin and Afridi. Reporter once asked sachin that people says best time for Sachin to retire is just after 2011 WC. Sachin given a befitting reply to the question.He said WC is for the people of India i can not make it my personal event by announcing my retirement. If i took retire after winning the WC, It would have been my farewell event instead of WC winning moment, I dont want Indians to forget the celebration of winning the world cup Because it was never about Sachin it was always about India and world cup. Sachin has ruled the cricket world for 23 yr and he will definitely show his class one more time before walking into the sunset even with so called slow reflexes. Let him choose the place and time to say good bye, cricket own alot from Sachin.

  • Ray on January 4, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    It's ridiculous Tendulkar hasn't retired already.....the RIGHT time would have been at LATEST once he had the World Cup. That was almost 2 years ago! He is basically a selfish person.

    The right way would have been like Gavaskar, Imran Khan, or other classy individuals.

  • Muneer Alam on December 29, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Age matters but more than that its performance which is the ultimate decision maker. Afridi has been a continuous failure with bat and especially he has let down the expectations of both the team and fans for he has played no match winning innings for a long time time. This "he is good with the ball" thing has no value when it comes to results. You need to fire when the team needs you, whether it be with the ball or bat and Afridi has time and again showed that he is good for nothing. Its always better to retire with honor than to be kicked out and be disgraced.

  • Ali safwan on December 24, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Man > You abbasi.. I love the way you write and combine things in to one word. But I'm gonna disagree on this one> Afridi has always been a fighter and a warrior. He likes challenges and always come good after getting down.. PCB has never shown true respect to their best warriors > It's just a matter of time because no matter what happens there is always light in indians Tunnels and Afridi will surely get Over it>

  • Omar Khan on December 20, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    It would bea big mistake to include Afridi after his continuing very poor performance over the last three years . A player with even worse record over the last three years is Shoab Malik . Why is he included for the India Tour ? Also , it would be a very big mistake to include Misbah and Youns Khan for the ODIs . In both ODIs and T20s they bat Asif they are playing to draw aTest Match . They simply cannot score a run a ball anymore .

  • aftab from VB on December 19, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    The news coming from Pakistan is good. Looks like Misbah has found a perfect partner in Inzi to help PCB make sense and get Afridi in the loop. Big hitting may succeed rarely but leaves long term impressions. I read once an Australian in Pakistan was looking to buy the bat that Afridi uses. Way to go!

  • Suresh on December 19, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    I agree Both should retire, before that I want to see Sachin and Afridi Open the batting for their countries and blast the bowling attack in one last series. leave with people standing and clapping when they are going in to the dressing room, taking Man of the Match awards. Sachin and Afridi... where is the magic gone... come on.. play your natural game...ATTACK....

  • Humayun Archad Butt on December 18, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    I will not comment on Tendulkar and in my opinion Mr. Abbasi you also should not have done so whether or not he should retire . As for Afridi I totally agree that he should retire . He can bowl a bit butt here are several other bowlers much better than him waiting for an opportunity to join the Pakistan Team . However , Afridi has been a total failure as a batsman for the last several years and it is a pain to watch him at . More importantly , while you have rotten on the need forFridi to retire , how about Shoaib Malik ? He can neither bat nor bowl , why is he included inthe Team ?

  • Sunny on December 17, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Great article , Mr. Abbasi. Now you can stop ( retire ) from writing with ‘dignity preserved’. Comparing SRT with Afridi ? If you like keep bashing SRT but don't compare him with payers like Afridi. For your information and record , Afridi has already retired two three times before.

  • Ishwar on December 17, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Its really unfair to compare the Tendulkar and Afridi on retirement. Come on , SRT he is a great palyer no doubt but his great time is over and now the time is perfect for his retirment , he achived all thing related to cricket people are not understand what he is trying to proove Now come on, Afridi Shame on the selectors for ignoring afridi he is my favorit player all the time he wanted to give 100% to his team as well as his nation he best boller and danders batsmen in any attack but when he was not captain he did not take responsibility . He has at least 3 years of cricket left. Indian people wants to see him in the field and wanted to enjoy his batting as well as bolling . Afridi is ferfect men to lead the pakistani cricket team .

  • Aniket on December 17, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Isn't it a little funny when we are talking about Retirement of the Pakistani player? Other teams' players consider retirement as a hard door, shut down once and for all. For Pakistani cricketers of recent past, its only a curtain!!

  • gul on December 16, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    I m big fan of Afridi.Plz dont compare Afridi with Tendulker.Afrid is only 33 and Tendulker 39.If u watch both on field you will see the difference.Tendulker hardly moves in the field.But Afridi still got enegry to get the attention in field.He is the centre point where Pak team gets inspiration in the field.His bowling is for better then any world class bowler.

  • GM on December 16, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Well.....the readers must read the article carefully and then give comments.Writter has never compared Afridi with Sachin.The whole discussion is about the glorious retirement. If we compare our heroes then afridi is for better Hero.Eagle eyes,dashing look,smartness,flying hair, this is the look of afridi. short height,scarry face,curly thir class hair,dim eyes.this is all about Sachin........Now imagine your best hero.

  • mk49 on December 14, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    Kamran - please leave us Indians to our Sachin sorrows - and don't equate his slow demise with that of Afridi - a player of far less consequence, ability and impact.

  • Taqweemus on December 14, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Still i beliebe, afridi is 2nd best Bowler in Pakistan right now Änderungen Runs are Bonus for Pakistan.his axe of Team is just politische, otherwise he deserve for One Day Squad

  • nizam malik on December 14, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    i think this is the high time for both the players to close their boots. they should understand how their past reputation will keep them in the respective teams.. for so many years they played and their fans applauded them but now i fear that those fans only will turn their backs towards them... so it is better for both the players to take official and respectful retirement

  • panvalboy on December 14, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    I really think that Sachin should retire soon. Afridi still has a few more good years. Sobers-Ricards Lara - Ponting all saw the light and retired when they saw the writing on the wall. Everyone has an opinion be it right or wrong, but I think that Since Sir Don Bradman and Sir Gary Sobers that greatest batsman that we have seen then with out doubt,is Sir Brian Charles Lara. He was a gift to the Cricketing World.Be fair and give the Lad his due.

  • Abu.Ashhad on December 14, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    lets first come to ST : Well someone has said very correctly above that people should have asked "Why" he left the game instead "When" he will be. There is one thing for sure (at least for my Indian friends), ST is great player and he surely can play more good cricket but "Hello" we are living in the real world and its time to move on. ST fans must understand that no one has a problem with him (at least not me)and probably he will get his form back but it could be cost on any other good Indian player. BTW BCCI already made too much via ST so now they should have do branding stuff on Kohli, Rohit or Pujara. Now come to Khan Sahib: Shahid Afridi is not classy as may be others but he is a real entertainer and I think he can do the job for 2-3 more years and still one thing for sure that he is a match winner on a particular day.

    PS: Indian "angry" friends,BTW the article is not about the class of two players but Kamran has discussed two famous players and he got response :)

  • mitch on December 14, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    Being bamboozled for 2 like he has been done by Jimmy is reason why SRT shd call it quits. But Boom Boom still has a few more years. age is stl on his side, its just poor form. SRT was averaging more than 70 in 2010 when he was 37 but this year has been a really bad one for him.

  • Ishwar on December 14, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Well, all the Indian and Pakistan fans please try and understand what the author is trying to say. The game which you give all things all over the world which you have not aspects in your early stage then it is your responsiblity to came forward and retired in your old age . I see people here commenting that Sachins is selfish and I agree the same because he does not score in last 15 inning ,he should follow the players like Wasim Imran Khan & Lara and retired a true champion.

  • Asif on December 14, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Shame on the selectors for ignoring afridi by claiming he is out of form & @ the same time including younis who is also out of form.Moreover they have included babar who is 34 yrs old for doing in good domestic cricket.I don't understand the logic of selecting a 34 yrs old player against a tough opponent.Shahid afridi is much better than babar on any day.It is still time afridi can be reinstated for the full tour as that will bring some confidence in afridi otherwise he will be under tremendous pressure to perform in t/20's.

  • Shane on December 14, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    Yes, Sachin should retire before he ruins his magnificent story with a sloppy ending.

    But please can he wait until India tour Australia again? We would all love to see him here one more time.

  • PM on December 14, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    Tendulkar and Afridi being mentioned in the same breath... what's the world coming to?

  • Ashraf Khan Janjua on December 13, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    Afridi should retire or rather should have been retired about two years back . It is a pity that in Pakistan our cricketers do not retire they need to be retired and this is not done in a timely fashion . Take Younis Khan ,, Misbah , Shoaib Malik theyhave been under performing for more than three years and they refuse to retire . The results that while capable new blood is available they are not given a chance . The result is that Pakistan,s relative performance suffers , I hope the PCB will show courage and remove the deadwood from the Team .

  • lix4six on December 13, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Nobody likes to see any of the great cricketers retire but there comes a time when father time catches up on all of them and Tendulkar should be no exception to this rule. People saying he should be left alone to to play as long as he wants are being blind to the future and betterment of Indian cricket. The selectors are at fault here for allowing that to happen and not Tendulkar. His day will finally come to watch from the sidelines, do a bit of commentary, or simply go off and ply his trade in the numerous 20/20 comps around the world for more limelight and glory, but at the end of the day another great cricketer will see his final curtain coming down on him pretty soon either by getting the chop, or more realistically SRT announcing his decision to the media on his own accord.

  • Danish on December 13, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    1- I am a fan of Afridi. He brings a lot to Pakistani cricket. But I can only hope that you are not comparing Ponting and Tendulkar to Shahid Afridi. Stats and impact on the game - Incomparable.

    2- Bad slumps don't mean end of a career. If this article was published in 2003, a lot of people would have agreed with you then too! But what makes a great player great is resilience. Let Afridi show us his resilience.

    3- Mr. Abbasi! Your passion is admirable, but your emotions are the sole thing that drive every word you write. Please take some pointers and then come back with something substantial. Otherwise, maybe it's time you let your curtain fall.

  • Sunny on December 13, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Well i think Sachn tendulkar right time to retire was after wininng the World Cup at home. What else he want ...his seen all the success. Its the right time to go for the 40 year old . Sanath jaysuria hanged around at the age of 42 . what extra he achieved that he couldn,t achieved in past. Young players should come in. As far as SHAHID kHAN AFRIDI is concern he is good enough bowler to be in Pakistann team on his bowling only. Batting is Bonus. As far class of these 2 concern i wil say Afridi as a match Winner and Tendulkar only a record making machine.

  • aftab from VB on December 13, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    For once PCB is wrong in looking for a replacement for Afridi (who am I kidding, they are wrong mostly). Afridi did not replace any one but Pak used to win before him too. Really, Afridi and Imran Khan are the ZA Bhuttos of Pakistan Cricket (people have no idea what they have done but are excited about them). What PCB should look for is a match winnng all-rounder (and that's what they mean, one hopes). Afridi is irreplaceable despite all his shenanigans.

  • IPSY on December 13, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    I agree that if retirement is the topic, Tendulkar and Afridi shouldn't be compared. Afridi is only 33 and Tendulkar 39. Again it's unfair on Afridi's part because, when Tendulkar was between 30 and 34, he had a very serious run-drought: In 4 consecutive years(Apr.2003-Dec2007)of competing against the 7 best cricketing nations (not Bang and Zim), his overall average was 31; having scored a single 100 against Sri Lanaka. Ian Chappell called for his head. The Indians told Chappell to keep out of Indian cricket - as is happening now again. But after such bad performance in 4 years, he came back between 2008 and 2010, when no cricketing jurisdiction had a world class bowling attack and as usual, scored lots of runs against the mediocrity which was on hand. The Indians say their decision was vindicated. Now that the then inexperience bowlers have learnt their trade, it's deja-vu all over again. Now he has the worst last 10 test match record for the so called greats.So don't write off Afridi

  • Ajay on December 13, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    This is insane. It is an insult to Tendulkar. What's wrong with Cricinfo?

  • Mani on December 13, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Ntini and Gillespie were dropped at the 'ripe' old ages of 32 and 30 respectively. A near-400 wicket stalwart was dropped for someone like morne morkel, and the guy who was almost as lethal as mcgrath was dropped just because they thought he had lost his mojo after just one horrible ashes series. That's the difference in attitude between sub continental teams and other teams. Only in the subcontinent do they give star players demi-god like statuses, whereas outside the subcontinent, they're just star players. People and administrators are prepared to give them a shove if they're not prepared to fade away with grace.

  • Shamshad ali Khan on December 13, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Afridi needs to have retired at least a year back . However , Younis Khan and Misbah need to have retired / or beenretiredbefore Fridi . Also , why isit that Shoaib Malik has not been retired at least three years back ? He has been a total,non performer for the lastf five years .

  • swarzi on December 13, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    All of us can go ahead talking all we want about Mr Tendulkar and his retirement; but,put yourself into his situation and: "Imagine how you would feel,if you spent nearly your entire life (almost a quarter century,25 years) playing a sport,and performing on so MANY MANY MANY more occasions than any other in that sport,and still end up with NOT ONE of the DOZENS of INCREDIBLE RECORDS in it! That's the feeling Mr Tendulkar will experience when Jacques Kallis scores fifty-two 100s. What I'm saying is that when Kallis does it,Sachin would only end up with the SINGLE TEST RECORD of scoring MOST RUNS,which is expected of anyone who has played so long. I don't think OBVIOUS EVENTS should be seen as INCREDIBLE records - If someone does it in less time,then it should be a record. Mr Tendulkar knows that is all he has achieved in test cricket,so he keeps on catching at straws to try to prevent the ignominy of losing it - in futility. When it happens,it would only expose the myth of his greatness

  • Johnny Rook on December 13, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    @The Ghost of Cricket's Future. Tendulkar may look like granfather to you on the field, but he sure doesn't move like one. He is loads and loads better than Ojha, Ashwin and Zaheer Khan. Only Virat Kohli can claim to be considerably better than Sachin. I think this is a lot more shameful for rest of the Indian players rather than the so called grandfather

  • Johnny Rook on December 13, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    @Haroon Butt. I can't agree more on no one being bigger than the team. However that applies to the established as well as emerging players. I think worst mistake you can do as a selector is to give the country's cap to a player too easy(either for potential of a young player or for reputation of an old one). Lets face it, humans don't value anything they have got too easily. Gilchrist didn't play for Australia till he actually became the best keeper batsman in the country and Ian Healy was standed on 99 tests bcoz he was no longer best in the country. As simple as that. You give Rohit Sharma India cap just based on potential instead of consistent performance and most likely he will end up like Vinod Kambli.

    @fan_of_good_cricket. Yes, they should keep an eye out for young blood. That why there are A tours, first class cricket, NCA as so on. It makes sense to take in a new player if older player is only 5% better than him. But if older player is 25% better, there is no point.

  • omar hussain on December 13, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    I think Kamran we should concentrate on our own affairs here as our neigbours are fantically emotional about their great batsman!Shaid Afridi is a shadow of his former self as a batsman though he is still a fine bowler:Some players decline earlier than others and sadly his time has come.Tendulkar has been around a long time and is only human and he too has to go sometimes but that is our neighbours lot.On personal level i rate Gavaskar the greatest Indian batsman in living memory.

  • omar hussain on December 13, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    I think Kamran we should concentrate on our own affairs here as our neigbours are fantically emotional about their great batsman!Shaid Afridi is a shadow of his former self as a batsman though he is still a fine bowler:Some players decline earlier than others and sadly his time has come.Tendulkar has been around a long time and is only human and he too has to go sometimes but that is our neighbours lot.On personal level i rate Gavaskar the greatest Indian batsman in living memory.

  • CricketFirstLove on December 13, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    There is a big difference between Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar. The former played for their teams Tendulkar played for himself - just for his hundreds, in the process team lost, no problem. They slowed for Tendulkar's 100th 100 and Bangla Desh beat India. Shame. Both said good bye in time to let a second line groom. So their transition is easy. Unlike team India now which is going to face a huge problem to get a good team.

  • CricketFirstLove on December 13, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    There is a big difference between Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar. The former played for their teams Tendulkar played for himself - just for his hundreds, in the process team lost, no problem. They slowed for Tendulkar's 100th 100 and Bangla Desh beat India. Shame. Both said good bye in time to let a second line groom. So their transition is easy. Unlike team India now which is going to face a huge problem to get a good team.

  • stn on December 13, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    Its Hafeez who should retire. Because thats the only way he can be dropped, after such a pathetic career.

    Hafeez is the worst cricketer ever to play the game for so long.

    And now is the captain in T20. SHOCKING!!

    His retirement will greatly benefit Pak.

  • arjun das on December 13, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    Sir Sachin ramesh tendulkar ...... ............is the inspiration to all diehard cricket fans. He is all time best more than lara , bradman, ponting , pieterson, amla, devillers etc. He is the god of cricket & should play till he wants to play.

  • saddam on December 13, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    for sachin i will say this is the time to retire!u have done enough to remain a great, but pak need afirdi for another 2,3 years.

  • aftab from VB on December 13, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    Apparently, the question is not who is Afridi's fan and who is not. It's about him losing or not losing grace in trying to stay too long. As a fan of him once, I felt that he was not as refined a person as a leader should be. This applies to him on the pitch too with the bat. He himself has admitted that Younis Khan helped him settle down - and that gives a clue to his best 'use'. He needs a cool headed senior, like Misbah for once, to help him tap the soil a couple of times before airing his bat non-stop. Besides this, he has ODI cricket left in him.

  • Sal on December 12, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    cricinfo is really happy with Kamran Abbasi... i dont know what he wrote but i can tell millions have read it already :P btw it doesnt matter sachin leaves or stay... we are still enjoying best stoke play by cook :)

  • Miten Davda on December 12, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    Agreed. I am annoyed every time I see their names on their respective team sheets. Time to go, both of you!

  • vijay on December 12, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Afridi has age. He lost batting form by ignoring opening. He converted him as bowler. If he opens batting for 5-6 matches i am sure Pakistan can win at least 2 matches with lot of comfort.

    Meantime he will gain his batting form. He is best suited to play power play overs.

    If his heart likes to score, he will score so easily. The problem he himself works against his batting. His hearts prefers only bowling.

    If useless Misbah & Younis made some runs against India in world cup or held some catches today situation of Pakistan might have too different.

    He made it so clear that these two seniors are playing selfish and so slow.

    None can motivate Pakistan better than Afridi.

    With Hafeez and Younis leadership Pakistan never progress.

  • Emad on December 12, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    also Tendulkar was recently the top scoring batsmen in the 3rd test between ind and englad, and has scored a 50 in his last ODI innings against pak, Afridi was the joint HIGHEST wickettaker of the 2011 WC. The huge mistake that is being made is by the SELECTORS, when someone is going through a bad patch you dont let him keep playing and making bad scores, you give him a break and put him in domestic cricket until he improves! Like i said before, i think they can both play until they are 41 or 42 like Jayasuriya

  • Emad on December 12, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Dont know why some people have to come here and over-display their patriotism and ruin the actual important discussion. OF COURSE you cannot compare tendilkar and afridi, THEY ARE DIFFERENT PLAYERS, tendulkar was always a specialist top order batsman who sometimes bowled and Afridi was always a bowler who's batting was a huge bonus at times (the mistake was playing him at a top order position all the time). Both have won numerous games for their teams, and if tendulkar has won more games according to stats it's because he has played a 100 more games than anybody else in the world lol.

    Both are legends and are going through a lean patch which has nothing to do with age, players like Jayasuria kept ROCKING well into their 40's. Both need to be given a break from international cricket and if they still have the desire to keep playing and not retire to family life, they can regain form in domestic cricket and come back full circle! I honestly think they can both play till 41 or 42.

  • The Ghost of Cricket's Future on December 12, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Tendulkar is now starting to enter the joke phase, like Rocky in the Rocky movies, Rocky 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, Tendulkar will be playing for India in a wheelchair in years to come. Mr. Tendulkar please look at how you are batting now on video compared to your younger self, it looks very sad. Your batting average is now starting to reverse, on the field you look like a fish out of water, on camera you give the appearance of a grandfather. India are starting look like a team of pathetic clowns.

    Tendulkar you are a man of '80s, that's FOUR decades ago. You started your career at a time when ODI cricket was at its ascendancy, now its in its death throws. T20 wasn't even an idea when you played your first test match. You are an anachronism, time for you to go, before you go from the joke you are now, to an utter complete pitiful fool. If that were to happen, records or not, you will become the laughing stock of India and world cricket for the next century.

    RETIRE TENDULKAR!

  • Viks on December 12, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    Well I dont believe that Tendulkar is blocking other players from getting an opportunity.

    Also India's selectors are blunder ppl. They dropped Yuvi when in first innings in Kolkatta he showed some fight and in second innings he was the only player who got an unplayable delivery imo.

    I have watched Afridi since he was 12 (when he started playing cricket lolzzz :-), the guys used to get squared up every now and then. Does not have any technique (Mohalla cricketer) but his bowling is exeptionally good. So here we are basically comparing a bowler with a batsman, not a fair comparison imo.

  • Amit on December 12, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    Guys please dont debate on selection and retirement of players else we will have to organize annual general elections in INDIA & PAKISTAN to select or drop players. WTF the selectors are doing........hope they do their work

    Finally to be frank.......sachin...and.....shahid kaha haridwar...aur...kaha maldwar....

  • Ashish Khan on December 12, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    sachin afridi sachin afridi sachin afridi sachin afridi sachin afridi sachin afridi. That should do it for the "how can you talk about sachin and afridi in the same sentence?" troupe. I didn't read the whole article but I think Sachin's wants to win the Ashes before he can retire. Or maybe take a match by the throat when the stakes are high and win it for once - (please do not respond with links to match scorecards. When you're 90 runs short with one wicket in hand, you call BC Lara - not Sachin). As for Afridi... he needs to go to boarding school to mature and become a man. It seems like whoever told Afridi that he's 16 years old on debut did a VERY good job of convincing him.

  • Astro on December 11, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    Ponting's retirement was anything but timely! He should've retired at least a year ago. Like one commenter said, he left on a low: Australia lost the series and he played awfully. But at least he woke up. Tendulkar and Afridi are still sleeping. It takes courage and class to leave on a high — something only Warne and McGrath have done in recent times.

  • Samad on December 11, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    I just don't understand how some people in the comments above support Afridi as blindly as they do.

    He is a victim of his own confidence. and quite clearly the fact that HE has been Pakistan's poster boy speaks of the turbulent times facing the sport in our country.

    Don't get me wrong, Afridi is a wonderful leg spin bowler and especially has worked hard to improve that aspect of his game. He may even be considered one of the best leg spinners to play the shorter forms of the game in the past ten years. However he is moody, instable and clearly has now lost the only positive going for him..his bowling...Any why is this you may ask? Well its because he has lived on his confidence for long that now that he has lost that, it has affected his bowling significantly. Shahid's time came to an end in 2009.

    Sachin is gold and frankly speaking.>India need him more than Pakistan need Afridi. They simply do not have a replacement yet. However if Sachin feels its time to go, it must be respected.

  • Asif on December 11, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    The sacking of afridi from the one day squad is unjust & absurd.When younis who scored only 160 runs in his last ten innings can be included then why not afridi who scored 180 runs plus he bowled reasonably well.Younis & mizbah both were responsible for the wc defeat against india & continue to play.Iqbal Qasim's statement that the team selected is for future planning then why continue with mizbah & younis.Afridi is much younger & physically much fitter & can continue playing untill the 2015 wc.He is going thru' a lean patch which all players go through at sometime in their careers.The selection committee priority should have been winning the series against india which is more important rather than planning for future.Also imran nazir & abdul razzaq should have been included in the team.It is really surprsing for such an important series new players have been included just because of good domestic performance instead of the big names afridi & razzaq who istill fear in the opposition.

  • Niaz on December 11, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    Keep Sachin in the team and India will happily lose matches, keep loving him you Indian fans as it is great for the other teams as Sachin is not more than a walking wicket these days!!

  • Kashif on December 11, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    This is coming from a Pakistani fan.

    First of all, there is no comparison between Sachin and Afridi in terms of class. Sachin is a legend. Afridi has good fan following in Pakistan because there is no Imran or Wasim around. To me, Afridi is an average cricketer, who was never able to utilize his talent to the fullest and never built the temperament needed to play at international level. He should consider himself lucky that his bowling peaked at the right time; otherwise he would not even be in this team. If Afridi had played under Imran's captaincy, his career would not have lasted more than a few seasons.

    I agree that one should retire at his peak but retirement is a big decision in a player's life and only the player knows when the right time is to go. Cricket is a funny game and people in the sub-continent are too emotional. If the same Sachin or Afridi play a fine innings, the same people who are chanting for their retirement will start saying that there is a lot of cricket left in Sachin or Afridi.

  • Ranjan Gulati on December 11, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    How did this ridiculous blog even got posted..aye..!!

  • Jamal on December 11, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    Most surprising thing about PAKISTAN cricket- Earlier pakistan used to drop cricketers and then bring them back as captains but now for the last six-seven years pakistan would drop Imran Farhat and then get him back during crucial time only to make sure pakistan loses matches and series eventually. Initially Imran Farhat would score 30 to 40 runs in only one match get out and take the review to confirm the bails were truely down and stumps broken- most pathetic selection in cricket world is getting Imran Farhat back over and over again

  • Hitesh on December 11, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    Lolz..how can you talk about sachin and afridi in a same article? afridi is a overhyped crickter while sachin is a legend of the game

  • GPhone on December 11, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    It is a case of Cricket getting contaminated by cash ...

  • Vignesh on December 11, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    Sachin left his position in the team to the selectors. Yet, they send out a needless message by chopping out Zaheer, Yuvraj, Sehwag and Bhajji. No man wants to fall foul of Sachin. The last to do so was Azhar. I'd play Yuvraj as a frontline bowler and send him in to slog with the tail in tests. And dropping Zaheer ? He was the one eyed leader of a blind attack.

  • fan_of_good_cricket on December 11, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Why on earth have you discussed Afridi and Sachin in the same article! They are miles apart with respect to their class. Looks like you are playing a bad joke on Tendulkar. Retirement is definitely one's own decision. One may choose to remain available for selection even at the age of 60. Who's going to stop that. However, its the selection that matters. @Johnny Rook made a very interesting assessment regarding selection but I think it is one of the responsibilities of the selectors to keep an eye on the future and continue planning for that. If we take that into account, the logic of ALWAYS going for the best 6 won't ALWAYS work.

  • Danish Syed on December 11, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    I plan to comment after the T20i's are over... I guess its too early for Afridi.. there is still spark left in him and against India, I am confident, he will regain it back...

    What I don't understand is why we do not appreciate Rahul Dravid, he retired at the right time, I am more of a fan of Dravid than Tendulkar. Dravid had that poise, confidence and aura which even when he retired, rated him one of the batsmen which would still be a consideration for any side.

  • Danish Syed on December 11, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    I plan to comment after the T20i's are over... I guess its too early for Afridi.. there is still spark left in him and against India, I am confident, he will regain it back...

    What I don't understand is why we do not appreciate Rahul Dravid, he retired at the right time, I am more of a fan of Dravid than Tendulkar. Dravid had that poise, confidence and aura which even when he retired, rated him one of the batsmen which would still be a consideration for any side.

  • karthik_raja on December 11, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    I should tell ppl here to get their stats right first.. Its followed as myth that SRT hasnt performed at all since Jan 2011. Yes. He did take long time score that 100th hundred since the WC. Bt guys, wt he missed is a CENTURY, not RUNS. The stats says he has scored 7 fifties(note - @getsetgopk) during this period which includes 2 90s. And my frnd @KiwiRocker, thats again a myth that SRT hasnt won matches. The same - Chennai Test '08, Tri series in AUS has also been won by SRT. He was Ind's top scorer in 2011 WC and overall top scorer in '96 and '03 WCs. Whole cricketing world knows why we failed in '96 and '03 WCs. Its not his fault that Ind didnt win those WCs. Any other team would hv won those WCs when they have an individual scoring those heaps of runs. Truth is that 34K international runs he has scored were being made useless by toothless Ind bowling and spineless batting by rest of the team.

  • chanakya on December 11, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    SPOT ON,Johnny Rook..SPOT ON!!

  • Sarath on December 11, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    Great article! Sachin, please go, the sooner the better. I used to think of you as the greatest batsman ever. Sadly, in my eyes you are now the aging star of yesteryear whose "sell by" date is long past!!

  • Paritosh on December 11, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Isn't it selfish to leave the game when u r not performing just so that people will question on your greatness? I think Sachin should play another 2 years and Afridi another 5 years although they will no longer be considered great but until they keep on contributing to their nation. Journalist like you give then names like a little master and boom boom and then you people want them to keep those for lifetime but what they really are is a player and their job is to play for their country not retire fearing that some one may not call them great in the future.

  • kalifulla on December 11, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    This is not a right time give rest to sachin. we were missed dravid ,ganguly and laxman. so he must be in team for sucess.

  • Haroon Butt on December 11, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    @Roher Almedo, if you cared to read the article, you'd realise the author is not comparing skill or greatness of the two players. He is comparing a relative drop in output to their own previous standards "mate"

    Johnny Rook, that is some warped logic. No one is bigger that the team. It is in the interest of the Indian team to give valuable time to young players in the middle, so they develop into the next Tendulkar. That is the only way for a team to progress. You had Gavaskar, he was meant to be one of the all time best players, yet you found Sachin after that, and Kohli now. We had Sarfraz Nawaz, then Imran Khan came along. When he retired we wept, wondering who would take us forward. Then the W's came, Mohammad Aamir came and ruined his career, people cried and said let him play again as he's so good, but no, he should not play because NO ONE is bigger than the team. We'll find more like him too. Call it the circle of sport (queue Lion King music) ;)

  • A Well Wisher of Pak Cricket on December 11, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    No Afridi in Pak ODI team in India...not happy Jan! :o( The Iqbal Qasim led slection Committee has got it all wrong. You select your best team especially for such a short tour of ODIs & T20s. Afridi's presence would've given India something to think about. His energy, bowling, fielding and even his boomtastic batting. Not to mention his fan following, it is a series to foster some neighbourly cheer across the border. It is about a lot more than just cricket - the game! I would've not only picked but sent Afridi as a pinch-hitting opener in at least one if not all of the games against a recently dropped & low in confidence Zaheer Khan & returning Irfan Pathan pace attack on Indian wickets just to throw Boom Boom in the deep end and I'm sure he would've come out of his batting slump against India! If wishes were horses...the selectors love killing the joys of this much anticipated battle royale on the Cricket field between two arch rivals trying to mend fences.

  • A Well Wisher of Pak Cricket on December 11, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    Pakistan goes to the run the Grand Race in India (like the Melbourne Cup race that stops the nation in Australia) without its main 'Show Pony' Afridi!!! *Sheer Outrage*

  • A Well Wisher of Pak Cricket on December 10, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    How can Imran Farhat (tried, tested and tired as the third opener especially in a 3-match ODI team which has 2 established openers in Nasir & Hafeez and includes Azhar & a returning stalwart thankfully in Younis--the theory of a new ball at each end can only go so far...wish everyone had a 'taaweez' like Farhat or an influential father-in-law in the cricket board) & an uncapped Zulfiqar Babar make it in the Pakistan ODI team going to India and not Shahid Afridi???

  • 2coolPakistani on December 10, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    I have been following Pakistani cricket since 1992. I must say Afridi is the best person to captain Pakistan at the moment. Pakistan needs a senior person as a captain and what better person can there be than Afridi, who played along wasim akram, waqar younis, inzamam, saqlain etc. This just sows the amount of experience this guy has in terms of cricket. This also was shown in his world cup 2011 campaign: Leading from the front. To say that Afridi has to retire is ridiculous. Pakistan should use Afridi for their benefit as a whole. And TeamBlue: I doubt that India has more talented cricketers than Pakistan. Look how England is beating you at home. In the first season of the IPL us pakistani's set the records, where were Indians on the rankings. You still haven't got a reliable fast bowler in a massive country like India. Pakistan has had tons of them. How many times did u get thrashed in Sharjah. All we gta do now is beat u in a major tournament. Its all about TEAMGREEN!

  • goni8 on December 10, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    How can you compare a garbage run collector like tendulkar with Brilliance of S.Afridi Indians are used to drag on till they cannot walk, what to talk of play cricket. Dont forget the example of Kapil dev who could barely run upto the wicket to bowl by the time he retired He will no doubt get a chance with Bangladesh (scoring 100th, 100) Now he is may be waiting for afghanistan or kenya to tour India and he can show how much is he in form.

  • Merzy Merchant on December 10, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    NEVER IMAGINED. WELL absolutely it was Usain Bolt Bold steps by these hard core selectors by not including them Shahid Afridi/Imran Nazir/& Abdul Razzak these dashing compatriots. I was devasted, if not for all 3 at least for Shahid Afridi. Now I want Shahid Afridi to come and play the IPL-PERIOD. It was sad coz all these 3/cricketers have given the Pakistan Country a lot in every angle. But whatever it may be that Today Hats Off to these Pakistan Selectors thus were firm in choosing the Final XI plus, shown thier Indian Counterparts inspite me being an Indian that they have shown the Indian Selectors that we believe in the team and not to Individuals.

  • Merzy Merchant on December 10, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    NEVER IMAGINED. WELL absolutely it was Usain Bolt Bold steps by these hard core selectors by not including them Shahid Afridi/Imran Nazir/& Abdul Razzak these dashing compatriots. I was devasted, if not for all 3 at least for Shahid Afridi. Now I want Shahid Afridi to come and play the IPL-PERIOD. It was sad coz all these 3/cricketers have given the Pakistan Country a lot in every angle. But whatever it may be that Today Hats Off to these Pakistan Selectors thus were firm in choosing the Final XI plus, shown thier Indian Counterparts inspite me being an Indian that they have shown the Indian Selectors that we believe in the team and not to Individuals.

  • Saad on December 10, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    It is very unfair to bracket afridi with tendulkar . Tendulkar is one of the best cricket has ever produced and very rightly its time up for him but afridi is a shame for the cricket,a total flock and he should not be even considered in playing XI even if he is in kenya or zimbabwe. Still we can admire that he even has an average between 20,s when he dont have brain and is a tennis ball player who thinks share power is everything. Pakistan though being a cricket crazy nation but are not much educated about the game which you can find with the empty stands in test matches. He is a player of masses who want every ball to be hit for the six but as a player he is nothing and if and only if you want him in side then better try him in T20 or wait till T10 is started. Afridi man if you were once serious in your unlimited retirement announcements it was a gonna be a great favour to the country and cricket

  • Adeel on December 10, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    "The three great Australian cricketers of the modern era, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Ponting" & what about bevan,slater, steve waugh,symonds,gilchrist, damien martin?

  • Stuart on December 10, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Of course Disney said leave them wanting more: He would be back next year with another show to sell. If a cricketer, or any other sportsman leaves at the top of their game, we may cherish what they showed us but always regret that we didn't see more. If they stay until it is clear to all that they will never again achieve the level that made them great, then we can still cherish the great entertainment they provided, and know in our hearts that we saw all they had to offer. Then there is no need to regret that, just maybe, they had one more great performance that we missed out on the chance to appreciate.

  • Stuart on December 10, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Of course Disney said leave them wanting more: He would be back next year with another show to sell. If a cricketer, or any other sportsman leaves at the top of their game, we may cherish what they showed us but always regret that we didn't see more. If they stay until it is clear to all that they will never again achieve the level that made them great, then we can still cherish the great entertainment they provided, and know in our hearts that we saw all they had to offer. Then there is no need to regret that, just maybe, they had one more great performance that we missed out on the chance to appreciate.

  • Abhishek on December 10, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Quite funny that you should mention Sachin and Afridi in the same breath.

  • Mallesh G N Scientist on December 10, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    SRT is greatest genius the crrcket has produced. He can Play like Gavaskar, VIV richards or like anybody the cricket has seen . See his innings againt srilanka in test match, where he did double hundred, That might be during 2010. His placement and timing are marvelous. Let him play as long as he wants play. we unpund crickters should not comment on SRT

  • DRAKON on December 10, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    Afridi is nearly 38.this was because in is first batting innings his age was listed as 21!!!!

  • gulriz on December 10, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    afridi can be a fire for pakistan if he is stand for 5 overs and will be the match winner

  • Morad786 on December 10, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Everyone should accept that even if these two retire, they will be around cricket for some time to come...

    I do sense that Afridi has a few more years to go with the benefit of his fitness and younger age....May be Misbah should be put for the chop...

  • malvo on December 10, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    GOOD ARTICLE

  • justanothercf on December 10, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    This is the first time I read Kamran Abbasi. Good article. As many others pointed out, please do not speak of Sachin and Afridi at the same time. Shahid Afridi is a class apart, and MUST play for a few more years. Sachin has done what he had to, and it is time for him to make way for others in waiting.

  • KiwiRocker on December 10, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    When English Rugby team won 2003 Rugby World cup, they were not the greatest and most talented team. English coach introduced the concept of 'winning ugly'. In sports, only one thing matters and that is to win. I understand this article is not about Shahid Afridi or Tendulkar's comparsion, however, this is what differntiates them. Afridi won matches and tournaments for Pakistan and Tendulya did not. Tendulkar is the same batsmen who refused to lead India when Dravid retired, but Afridi has led Pakistan with distinction.Afridi is an impact player, he is an entertainer and world of cricket will be so sad without their entertainer. As far as Tendulkar, only person who will be sad to see him retiring will be James Anderson and Saeed Ajmal as he is a walking wicket for them!

  • John Sunder on December 10, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    @Umar Afridi is 33 ??? I thought he was still 18, every year they say he is 18 for the last 20 years.

    @Johnny Rook.. You are the true cricket fan **respect**, very rightly said.

  • lankan on December 10, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    can't believe it but you for forgot to mention Sanath Jayasuriya, how he left only after he was hated and lost every drop of diginity was lost

  • Anurag Sharma on December 10, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Definitely a good read Mr. Abbasi. However, Please don't use Sachin and Afridi in the same sentence. If you think Sachin is doing no good by extending his retirement, you are also doing no good to the game of cricket by downsizing Sachin like this.

  • akhtar on December 10, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Half of pak and ind team required retirement including sachin afridi shoaib malik and yuvraj Kamran akmal and dhoni

  • Akhtar on December 10, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    Half of pak and ind team required retirement including sachin afridi shoaib malik and yuvraj Kamran akmal and dhoni

  • Johnny Rook on December 10, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    @getsetgopk. Please check statsguru. Last 2 years, 19 matches against top 7 opponents, 2 centuries, 7 fifties, avg of 39 which is bad but still higher than Kohli, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Dhoni, and many others who have been tried and rejected. And I really don't understand why the new guy has to replace the oldest player in the team. In my opinion, he should replace the weakest member in the team. So Ajinkya Rahane's or Ravindra Jadeja should come in the team, but in place of Yuvraj Singh or Sehwag. @AliKhan. I hope this explains my point to you too but if not, I meant best 6 batsman in the country and not just the playing 11. @Tony, again why does Pujara need to replace Dravid. After Ganguly's retirement, India tried Rohit Sharma, Saha, Mukund, Vijay, Raina, Yuvi. Why can't Pujara replace any of them. Your team is never gonna get better if you replace a great player with a potentially great player. Its better to weed out the worst performing player and get in a potential great.

  • Zafar Iqbal Tayyab on December 10, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Actually age is not the real problem for Afridi, attitude might be the area where PCB and Media can help him by providing him technical assistance and unequivocal support. His current performance alone as an attacking bowler and enthusastic fielder is enough to keep his place in the side, however, as a batsman and team man he needs support. Ironically, instead of providing such support to the kind of potential which Afridi has, PCB officials do not miss any opportunity to add pressure on him. In my view Javed Miandad can help Afridi to come out of batting patch by analyzing his batting technique and rectifying the cause of his failure. Afridi we all believe, soon you would Insha Allah succeed in supporting your team with your batting too.

  • Zafar Iqbal Tayyab on December 10, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Actually age is not the real problem for Afridi, attitude might be the area where PCB and Media can help him by providing him technical assistance and unequivocal support. His current performance alone as an attacking bowler and enthusastic fielder is enough to keep his place in the side, however, as a batsman and team man he needs support. Ironically, instead of providing such support to the kind of potential which Afridi has, PCB officials do not miss any opportunity to add pressure on him. In my view Javed Miandad can help Afridi to come out of batting patch by analyzing his batting technique and rectifying the cause of his failure. Afridi we all believe, soon you would Insha Allah succeed in supporting your team with your batting too.

  • Mubasher-Hasan on December 10, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    first of all very good article as always. second thing is i agree with your words about Sachin Tendulkar not about Boom Boom Afridi. Afridi has more then 3 years cricket left while Tendulkar should have been retired on the occasion of world cup 2011 victory, like the great Imran khan left cricket at high. Indian tour is going to be the last chance for shahid afridi to prove himself that he still has 3 years cricket left else otherwise things will surely get difficult for him to survive any further in international cricket. he simply played outstanding cricket & one many tournaments & crucial matches while Tendulkar always fail to do so. Afridi will always be remembered as a match winner whilst Tendulkar as world class player performing & performing but winning nothing for India.

  • swarzi on December 10, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    Great article Mr Abassi. Tendulkar is one of the best ODI batsmen ever. Shahid is one of the best ODI all-rounders ever. They attracted equal interest wherever they played. Were it not for Tendulkar's ODI career, his name in cricket would not ring the bell it does.

  • getsetgopk on December 10, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    @Johny Rook, thats one way of looking it, the one that barely justifies Tendulkar still being part of the team. Your stats of having an average of 51 in the past 3 years is true but he hasn't scored a 50 in the past two years apart from the 76 at Eden Gardens. Had Sachin retired three years ago, Pujara would have had Test experience of 3 years by now, even better than he is right now. Sachin played and India benefited? Well thats just simply not true, 0-4 England, 0-4 Australia and now on their way to a 1-3 defeat to England at home this time. How and when did India benefited from Tendulkar? In the past two years he averaged 30. So stop making lame excuses. International cricket is no place for being sentimental, you field your best team or else the opposition will tear you apart just like Auss and Eng did. As far as AFRIDI, I would say he's far younger at 33, he's a wonderful bowler, give him another go for a year or so. I'm sure he'll come good, he's a true match winner on his own.

  • raokkhan on December 9, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    I dont know what should i call this. A leading analysis or data mining. First he compares afridi with sachin. afridi is just 32. Second, he picked afridi's last 6 t20I and making a decision out of it. wow, why didnt you include the 7th t20I in which he made 52* and got 2 wikets for just 17? Third, he took out the examples of Kapil Dev, Miandad, Wasim etc. Why not he mentioned Imran Khan(who retired over 40, got the honorable exit? why not Muralidharan was advised to surrender to his age in mid 30s? and so on. The point is, that a professional players knows how much potential and energy he has and he is more capable of deciding his career. yes, we can see the statistics and make opinion on it but why we manipulate the statistical analysis by selecting the data/examples those favour our likings? I think your opinion would be rational if you make an unbiased analysis.

  • thejesusofcool on December 9, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    Even as a devout Englishman,I hate seeing opponents like Ponting & now Tendulkar whom we once feared reduced to a substandard level.

    I saw SRT's fifty in his first Test over here & that was the first of many many magic performances from him.

    BUT that was over 22 years ago & even he can't help or halt the ageing process. I'd sincerely like a big win for us in Nagpur, but only after Sachin exits Test cricket with a 100 & then realizes it really is time to pack it in.

  • thejesusofcool on December 9, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    Even as a devout Englishman,I hate seeing opponents like Ponting & now Tendulkar whom we once feared reduced to a substandard level.

    I saw SRT's fifty in his first Test over here & that was the first of many many magic performances from him.

    BUT that was over 22 years ago & even he can't help or halt the ageing process. I'd sincerely like a big win for us in Nagpur, but only after Sachin exits Test cricket with a 100 & then realizes it really is time to pack it in.

  • Bizz on December 9, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    @Johnny Rook: Well said. I do not think it could have been better. We have business reviews in corporate world with clients for an hour and we struggle - 23 years of living under scrutiny and expectations of millions in a cricket crazy nation. This article talks about perfect ending..Always reminded of the famous quote from the movie 'Friday Night Lights' where the coach tells the team: Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didnt let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasnt one more thing you could've done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman - you are perfect! Allow the champ his struggles and have trust in his judgment.

  • Nits on December 9, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    When 'Sachin' and 'Shahid' are put in the same sentence/category, the article is not worthy of being read!

  • Nits on December 9, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    When 'Sachin' and 'Shahid' are put in the same sentence/category, the article is not worthy of being read!

  • Srini on December 9, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    That both these stars are over the hill is clear for anyone to see based on their performance over the past year. I feel they are unwilling to forgo all the adulation and following that followed them from the start of their career.

  • Dom on December 9, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    Yes Sachin please take the retirement as you r now losing all that u earned for these many years.DONT LOSE UR IMAGE DRAGGING. dont do the same what Kapil did in his last few years.

  • Bilal on December 9, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    I am actually with my Indian friends on this one... cant discuss sachin and shahid in the same sentence

  • sundayz on December 9, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    Nice kiwirocker! this show that u have seen only pakistani matches and does,nt care for world satistics. mere 18k runs in ODI hahaha afridi would have scored in without his left hand right. The truth is ponting + afridi doesnt = sachin. I dont understand the importance of replacing sachin is there anyone better out there, then he would have replaced him many years ago. leaving people like us replaying his glory again and again. He didnt asked when to start playing now let the man has dignity to decide when to quit. lets go back to our world where dreams left undecided, ambition crushed and hero falls.

  • Abhi mantgani on December 9, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    I am as disappointed as millions of other Sachin fans that he is not keeping to hs higest standards - min you these are standards we never had and created them.

    18 months ago he had the best year of his career, averages 51 in past three years, was the second best batsman in england last year and probably indias best man in australia. When e scores 60, 70 or 90 it is a failure.

    If they can show me who is the replacement , he should be repaced. Until such time if he has the enthusiasm to play and motivate himself, he is still indias number one player.

  • Engr. Ahmad on December 9, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    Tendulkar still has the highest test & ODI avg by any Indian in the history..............1 bad year doesn't make u a bad player if he can score at outstanding avg of 70 & 80 in 37th & 38th year of life after disastrous 34th &35th years then no wonder he can repeat that feat at 40 &41 as well................His fitness is good. Just that he was a bit out of practice in 2012. Additionally he is still no 1 Indian batsman on current ICC Rankings....................................Afridi is Pakistan's 2nd best ODI bowler so y should he quit

  • deep on December 9, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    well said @ KiwiRocker; some comments around here about Afridi and Tendulkar being so different. The real difference is actually Afridi won tournaments and test matches while Tendulkar scored worthless 18K runs. Afridi won T20 WC, Madras test back in late 90's and a tri series in Australia. Tendulkar is still to win anything of a note for Indian. The perfect definition of being over rated and over hyped!

  • R.S.V.PRASAD on December 9, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    if the players don't quit it is the selectors who has to show the exit way. Its high time sachin realizes that he plays for the country and not himself. saching bhai, bye bye cricket bolene ka waqt aaa hee gaya.

  • Zafar on December 9, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    Two different players with two different styles & approach but now a liability on their teams. The article is not the comparison between those two (Sachin & Shahid) but showing the mentality of our players to stuck with the team. Time has come for these 2 to be more brave & honest for themselves & for the nation.

  • Ab on December 9, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Not sure what Kamran is talking about. Wasim quit after an excellent World Cup (2003). How was that ordinary? And what was wrong with Ponting's cut shot? The pull wasn't as reliable towards the end but I don't recall any concerns over his cut shots?

  • Faridoon on December 9, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    Some people here are missing the point. Never does the article say that Afridi is better or even as good as Sachin or Ponting. Dr. Abbasi is pointing out that very few people time their retirement correctly. For India it is Sachin and for Pakistan it is Afridi who are perhaps in search of the perfect moment, which may or may not have already come and gone.

    No example of a perfectly timed retirement can be better than the great Imran Khan. Sachin and Afridi can only dream of going out at the top like that. Though Sachin did have a similar opportunity after India won the world cup...

  • Hassan Mir on December 9, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    They are a class apart but the central idea is relevant to both. Time to go mate !!! ( both of them)

  • Asif on December 9, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    I don't agree with u about afridi.He is only 32 yrs & still the fittest cricketer in pak.He is going thru' a lean patch with the bat but his bowling is not bad at all.When mizbah & younus can play till 38 & 35 yrs then why not afridi.All great players go thru' bad patch @ sometime in their career but they always come back.Inzamam scored 19 runs in the 2003 wc.Younis ,malik & gul fail more often than afridi but still continue to play.Afridi is never a liability to the team as he at least bowls well & fields brilliantly. Mr.Kamran abbasi u should actually support afridi & tell him to keep playing @ least till the 2015 wc.

  • Abdul on December 9, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    Well, all the Indian fans please try and understand what the author is trying to say. I see people here commenting that Players like Sachins comes once in a lifetime, its true, but you must also agree that players like Wasim, Waqar & Imran Khan comes once in lifetime as well. Look at how Imran Kahn retired like a true champion. all these players shud try & follow Imran Khan.

  • ZQ on December 9, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    @kiwiRocker. There are two people talking sense here, Kamran and you! Perhaps the real reason why sachin is hanging on to his place is that he still dreams of actually winning something for his team at least once in his career as opposed to amassing worthless runs. That would at least justify all the hype a little.

  • ZQ on December 9, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    @kiwiRocker. There are two people talking sense here, Kamran and you! Perhaps the real reason why sachin is hanging on to his place is that he still dreams of actually winning something for his team at least once in his career as opposed to amassing worthless runs. That would at least justify all the hype a little.

  • AliKhan on December 9, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    Kamran is as usual, spot on with his analysis. And whats all this nonsense about not putting Sachin and Afridi in the same sentence? are they both not cricketers? oh sorry I forgot Sachin is a god! lol! Indians call him the greatest batsman of the modern era but unfortunately they fail to see that there has been one better than him and that is BC Lara!! FACT! I would even rate Kallis as a better player! @Johnny Rook, your explanation is not just bizarre, its downright ridiculous. Going by your logic, the current crop of batsmen can keep playing till they drop dead cause hey, they are still amongst the top 6 batsmen in the team!! And what happens to new talent and blooding new players? if these guys really cared so much about the team, they would pave the way for youngsters so that they can get maximum exposure and opportunities.

  • bharatwasi on December 9, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    look at the fitness and conditioning of paki cricketers, the main reason they cannt bat & bowl with top playing nation after having enormous talent. look at umar akmal.

  • bharatwasi on December 9, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    look at the fitness and conditioning of paki cricketers, the main reason they cannt bat & bowl with top playing nation after having enormous talent. look at umar akmal.

  • Stark on December 8, 2012, 20:21 GMT

    PATHETIC!!

    Afridi will find form and be back to his best but it's a different story for Tendulkar because his nearly 40 years of age.

    I expect Afridi to lead Pak to victory in the 2015 WC.

  • Arvind Singh on December 8, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    Good article, Kamran!

    I think the reason why Australian Cricketers retire "on time" is because, the Australian Cricket Board consistently takes BOLD decisions on time. They "dropped" Healy when he was near top. They dropped Waugh brothers when they were still playing rather well. Australian cricketers know that the choice is often between 'retiring' and being 'dropped'. Australian Board boldly prepares for future and grooms players for future. Australian Board doesn't believe in carrying players on past reputation and records alone. Australian Board consistently drops older players in order to groom and prepare next generation.

  • Indian Cricket Fan on December 8, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    Like it has ben said before - One should retired when people ask "why" and not "When". Sachin Tendulkar missed out on that alltogether. He should have learnt that from Sunil Gavaskar - He is one of the top players and when he retired, people asked question "why". Remember his inning of 96 against Pakistan? Sachin is facing questions as to when he will retire and make room for someone who can better serve the purpose.

  • yjreddy on December 8, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    pakistan needs afridi but india dont need sachin at this moment

  • Ramesh on December 8, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    So Afridi will end up as the first international cricketer to have retired, before turning 21?

  • yasin on December 8, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    If you want to replace afridi who is the subsitute give the name.Form is temporary but class is permenant . Yasir shah is not to that standard. Mansoor amjad is out of seen.On the other hand india has replacements for sachin.Rohait Sharma,Murali Vijay,Badrinath.

  • Talha on December 8, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    I completely agree with all the comments protesting the mention of Sachin and Afridi within the same breath...

    That is hugely unjust to Afridi

  • Deepak Kulkarni on December 8, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Every good thing in the world has a shelf life and so too with SRT. We all adored him in his heydays. He should bow out of the game that has given him so much and joy to a billion people. The longer he persists that much more the youngsters would be denied a chance to groom. SRT please dont block youngsters. They all deserve the same long career and fame you got. Let others enjoy too... Gracefully retire before you lose respect.

  • RationalPakistaniFan on December 8, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    i think cricket-india has hit the nail on the head. agree with u 100%. For all my Indian/Aussie friends, you guys should take this as a compliment. It took Ricky and Sachin 37 and 39 years respectively to reach the stage where ppl are thinking its best for them to go, but Afridi, a man of noticeably lesser talents and quality, has hurtled to that stage at merely 33, regardless of whatever his real age is. In the twilight of his glorious career, Sachin won the World Cup and it was flabbergasting to see him play on and not retire right then. Part of greatness lies in seizing the moment ... and Sachin failed miserably to do so.

  • Teamblue on December 8, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    I don't know how afridi is being compared with sachin or ponting in this article.The fact that afridi lasted for so many years in pak team shows the paucity of talent in pakistan.The last great test batsman they produced was Inzamam some twenty years back.Every debut pak bowler is proclaimed as next big thing and we all know how many of them lasted for more than 10 test matches. There are many IPL cricketers in India who are more talented than Afridi.It is high time for pakistan cricket fans to know where their cricketers stand in pantheon of cricket greats

  • Jackwin on December 8, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    @kiwiRocker..hahaha....madras test match it seems....who was the leading run scorer for india in theri successful 2011 world cup???? Sachin...sachin has been part of the most no. of international wins by a player bar ponting...and thats only cuz of india's stupid bowling..dont just vomit out words without knowing...

  • Zubair Riaz on December 8, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Sorry Mr Abbasi but i respectfully disagree with your stance on Shahid Afridi.

  • KBJ on December 8, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    Shachin I guess yes!! but not Shahid.. he has 1 or 2 years left. To remain the great,the question from the public should be “why did you retire ??” not “why don’t you retire??“ For me the best retirement from test cricket was by Murali,announced his retirement knowing that was 8 less for 800 and making it in that last match!! That's what you call real challenge even in his last game! hats-off

  • Saad A. Toor on December 8, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    Roger Almedo's Comment. LOL. Sachin Tendulkar is arguably the greatest batsman in history. However, Shahid Afridi is spectacular in his own manner. Afridi's ODI average is a mere 23.34, however he also has the highest strike rate of all time (113.78), most hundreds of all time (298). 7000 Runs with over 340 wickets is insane for the man. Afridi is one of the greatest all-rounders to play the ODI game, arguably the best with respect to Kallis and Jaysuria of-course. Even though Kallis and Jaysuria have a lot more runs, Afridi has got more wickets and can continue. Afridi, being only 32 can still rack up wickets for at least half of another decade. Respect Afridi and respect Veterans. Afridi made three world records when he came to the crease to bat in spite of being selected as a pure bowler. Afridi hit the fastest century of all time (100 off 37) while being the youngest batsman to hit a century as well, all on debut. That altered Afridi's batting mentality forever. Afridi is legend.

  • Venkateswaran on December 8, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    It is a mistake to bracket both Sachin and Shahid Afrid into same bracket. Sachin is a genius. Because of collective failure of Indian batting, more pressure had been put on him. The Indian bowlers had also added to the pressure, by failing to restrict England to totals of magnitude which Pakistanis had earlier did. Even though Afridi is called as allrounder, he had of late, become a liability on both the fronts, bowling and batting. Allow Sachinto play South Africa series or Australia series and then take a decison about his usefulness.

  • Dileep on December 8, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    A thought of Sachin's 18k runs being worthless is in itself worthless.Afridi and Tendulkar's contribution for their respective country is something to be proud of!!Please check your Stats Mr. KiwiRocker!

  • Johnny Rook on December 8, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    @Tony, Pujara was not found bcoz Dravid retired. Pujara was on horizon for fairly long time. Through the combo of bad selection and injuries, he got his chance only now. If Purara is better than Tendulkar but Tendulkar is better than Yuvi, both Pujara and Tendulkar should be in the team and Yuvi should be out. Point being the best 6 batsmen should play immaterial of their age. If selectors don't pick Sachin for ODIs, they may have a point bcoz in ODIs India has a competent team without Sachin. But in tests it is not the case. Gambhir hasn't made a century for longer than Sachin has. Yuvi is a fantastastic ODI player but a very average test player. Lesser we talk about Sehwag's perfromance, the better. I am not even going into bowlers as of now. So it makes no sense to clamour for Sachin's retirement

  • Moyeez on December 8, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    I would stop watching cricket the day Shahid Afridi retires

  • Aditya Mookerjee on December 8, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    I don't want to comment on Tendulkar, but the last time Shahid Afridi retired, I felt bad, my ears were hearing nonsense. It seems a joke. The man doesn't know what retirement is, and I think he plays better now, than before. India won the World Cup match against Pakistan, and people wondered what would happen, because of the Pakistan team plan. The amazing thing is, that he made the top order of Pakistan play like Mike Brearley made the England team play, and then Misbah ul Haq played not very well. This is what people cannot understand. It appeared, Dhoni was pretty calm playing Pakistan, and hit the last ball for a six in the final. He seems to be forever 30, does Afridi.

  • KiwiRocker on December 8, 2012, 2:30 GMT

    I fully agree with Kamran. This is a common problem in Indian subcontinent. Pakistani selectors have ensured and they have improved a bit, but the real culprit are not the players but selectors. Australians are a good example. Ian Healy was dropped for Glichrist. Indian selectors are toothless and will never drop Tendulkar. I also agree with some comments around here about Afridi and Tendulkar being so different. The real difference is actually Afridi won tournaments and test matches while Tendulkar scored worthless 18K runs. Afridi won T20 WC, Madras test back in late 90's and a tri series in Australia. Tendulkar is still to win anything of a note for Indian. The perfect definition of being over rated and over hyped!

  • Imran on December 8, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    Pathetic! Sachin is 39, but Afridi is hardly 33 now. How can you even think Afridi should be retiring now? He may even have his best years ahead!

    If you really want curtains to fall, they should fall on Shoaib Misbah's career.

  • Tony on December 8, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    Johnny Rook, people dont just walk into international cricket straight from school. They do go through the rigor of First class matches and makes the grade. The best way seniors guide them is by stepping aside, not stepping along and in that process hindering the growth of someone else. Dravid is the best, he performed well in england and announced retirement from ODI and t20 there itself, and then after Aussie tour, I am sure he could have done well against England in India, but he stepped down so that a Pujara can be found. In VVS case it was a bit late, but a right decision. Sachin's time in the sun is over. It has to be selectors who leave him out, with or without a farewell test.

  • Amin on December 7, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    Kamran, I love reading your blogs. So eloquently written and I couldn't agree with you more. It is time for Afridi to step up or step out!

  • Kingarthur on December 7, 2012, 22:58 GMT

    I think big names are used just to increase hit on this page

  • Saket on December 7, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    One thing is obvious- both of them cannot play all forms of cricket. Here, Afridi has done the right thing by opting to focus on the form he is best suited for. What rankles me about SRT is not that he is playing- because, let's face it, India does not have great Test players, and the bowling cannot be called an "attack" in the real sense of the word. What rankles me is his set of priorities- he opts out of international tours, but regularly plays IPL. In that respect, both Sachin and Shahid need to consider how their actions will affect the thinking of future cricketers. Both apparently don't care. Actually Kamran, in place of SRT, you could have compared Afridi with Sehwag....I really think this would have been a more valid comparison. Still, I like your article!!

  • Saket on December 7, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    One thing is obvious- both of them cannot play all forms of cricket. Here, Afridi has done the right thing by opting to focus on the form he is best suited for. What rankles me about SRT is not that he is playing- because, let's face it, India does not have great Test players, and the bowling cannot be called an "attack" in the real sense of the word. What rankles me is his set of priorities- he opts out of international tours, but regularly plays IPL. In that respect, both Sachin and Shahid need to consider how their actions will affect the thinking of future cricketers. Both apparently don't care. Actually Kamran, in place of SRT, you could have compared Afridi with Sehwag....I really think this would have been a more valid comparison. Still, I like your article!!

  • R J on December 7, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    Your article was boring and lacked substance. You forgot the point that Sachin or Afridi are still playing because selectors find them important and fit for the playing eleven. So please try to do good in what you do and let them try to do their job. Selectors and players are best judge for themselves. Anyways, as I mentioned, your article is not up to mark and boring, I think you should let the curtain fall on your writing career and move on. Maybe, to leave us wanting more.

  • asad on December 7, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    Tendulkar and ponting should have followed Lara's example and quit while still ahead in the game.Lara,who I consider to be a better batsman than tendulkar and ponting,left the game when he still had about 2 to 3 years of cricket still in him.As for afridi his whole game has become useless,and is having an effect on the team,the faster he retires or is dropped the better.

  • Mallet87 on December 7, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    First things first, Sachin and Pointing are legends because they have proved themself in test cricket,Afridi is no where close to them. Afridi is an entertainer and will always be remembered for that. when it comes to retirement ,i feel every individual has his choice and they will take it when it is best suited for them. they desereve the right to put an end to thier own carrier rather than we wanting them to.

  • Yasser on December 7, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    Ponting did not leave us wanting more. Should have left after the ashes and world cup losses. Disagree with your assessment about Wasim Akram. Was by far among the best bowlers in the 2003 world cup. Infact, Akram never stopped taking wickets. He left us wanting more. It makes little difference if Afridi stays or goes. Was always a mediocre and overhyped player in my opinion. Should have been dropped at least 10 years ago.

  • Kanoodle on December 7, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    Well said @Johnny Rook. I really respect the fact that Sachin is working so hard and risking his reputation. This is another superior facet of his personality. Even without the same help from his body he is giving his all. Personally I feel he shouldn't care of what fans say and carry on to do wants to achieve. I wish I was as strong willed as the wee great man.

  • cricket-india on December 7, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    the problem with SRT worshippers - sid monga included - is that they see the calls for him to go as an insult and backstab in return for all his glorious achievements; guys, grow up. do you want SRT to stick around as an incompetent and wretched batsman falling to every tom, dick and harry bowler he would have bossed in his heyday? do you want SRT - who stood up to mcgrath, warne, akram, waqar, akhtar, pollock, donald, steyn and murali in their pomp - to be dominated by the panesars and siddles of today? will that elevate his stature in your eyes, in the eyes of posterity? kapil hobbled to 434 wkts but we remember him for his hobble as much as for his 434. why should SRT make the same mistake? a 50 here and a 50 there mea nothing; even vvs got 66 in oz on his last tour but he's remembered for his epic failure . take all the arguments everyone ever had for dravid and vvs to retire; apply them to SRT. if he ticks all the boxes dravid and vvs did, he's gotta go; as open and shut as that.

  • Ahmad Saeed on December 7, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Its really unfair to compare the Tendulkar and Afridi on retirement. come on, Afridi has at least 3 years of cricket left. Its his bad patch, and he will come out of it. May be in india tour. . :-)

  • Vishwa on December 7, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    I think, even Ponting took some extra time to exit from International Cricket even though call for his axe started last year by former players like Border, Damien Fleming and Shane Warne. He was also dropped from ODI squad (after scoring single figure scores of 2, 1, 6, 2 and 7 in the tri-series against Sri Lanka and India).

    However, I feel that momentum against Ricky and Sachin this year has been unfortunate. They both are genuine players for genuine brand of Cricket -- the Test Cricket! Let us not speak about limited over game player Afridi here.

  • P Sai Hari Krishna on December 7, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    I really dont understand y people are after sachin man! And talking about sachin and afridi in equal sentence is ridiculous.. Just because ricky retired doesnt mean sachin has to! Ricky's retirement was his personal and we should let the decision to sachin! Bloody people want every piece of attention thru sachin! Cricketers like sachin comes 1s in a century we should just enjoy it! And please never again get afridi and sachin in one sentence!

  • vageesh on December 7, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    well said @ Johnny Rook

  • Harshad on December 7, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    @Johny Rook, What a comment!!! People commenting forget the amount of efforts these guys have put in day in day out to be this good at what they do. just by the amount of happiness they have given us they deserve their struggle. I don't care if Sachin retires without testing any more success, it doesn't make him a lesser player, Same goes for Ponting.

  • Merzy Merchant on December 7, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    I want these Legends,Pathan Shahid Afridi for Pakistan & Pajji Sachin Tendulkar for India to continue and have a go till the next World-Cup-Period. Aussies Ricky Pointing the Punter shud have continued till next year of Ashes, but he wasnt that strong to continue. Punter is still strong enough to play the Ashes. Mind you this England Team is playing good Cricket. Presently in India giving the Hosts a tough time by Alistar Cook & Company.

  • WIcricketfan on December 7, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Excellent article!! Totally agree that Sachin and Shahid should call it quits. Sachin has had a magnificent career. He Ponting and Lara are the best batsmen of their generation. It will be a shame to see Sachin become an "ordinary" batsman. Lara left before he was through, Ponting left at the right time, so too should Sachin. Shahid has been really bad for a long time. Even though he is not in the class of Sachin or Ricky, he has performed in a fashion that brought him lots of fans all over the world. As a Shahid fan, I do not want to see him continue the way he is right now. It's not just cricket where some great players have a hard time calling it a day, It happens in all sports, especially "individual sports" like boxing, tennis, track & field and golf. I hope Sachin and Shahid hear that inner voice and hang them up....

  • WIcricketfan on December 7, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Excellent article!! Totally agree that Sachin and Shahid should call it quits. Sachin has had a magnificent career. He Ponting and Lara are the best batsmen of their generation. It will be a shame to see Sachin become an "ordinary" batsman. Lara left before he was through, Ponting left at the right time, so too should Sachin. Shahid has been really bad for a long time. Even though he is not in the class of Sachin or Ricky, he has performed in a fashion that brought him lots of fans all over the world. As a Shahid fan, I do not want to see him continue the way he is right now. It's not just cricket where some great players have a hard time calling it a day, It happens in all sports, especially "individual sports" like boxing, tennis, track & field and golf. I hope Sachin and Shahid hear that inner voice and hang them up....

  • Alla P. Gregory on December 7, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    They need to take a leaf out of B.C. Lara's book!

  • vikas on December 7, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Afridi is 33yrs old ! You must be kidding ! Only his parents know his real age! As for Sachin,BCCI is carrying him along as a milking cash cow which is slowly losing its appeal.With each passing year his sponsors are getting fewer in numbers.

  • alen on December 7, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    INCREDIBLE ARTICLE.......The discription of Afridi's career was phenominal..... At first he was a sensation, and then a hero impatient for a starring role. His next phase was most compelling: an entertainer comfortable with his repertoire, confident of which tricks to execute and which to leave in his magic box. Leg break, googly, top spinner, faster ball, rocket ball, thank you very much. Some measured hitting—now and then, even when it mattered like the 2009 T20 World Cup, Afridi’s moment...... loved it!!

  • Johnny Rook on December 7, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Lets say there are two players. One leaves saying "I am not as good as I was. I should retire, else I will be known only as a very good player instead of a great one".

    Other stays saying "Of course I am no where close to be as good as I was earlier and I run a major risk of losing much of the respect that I have earned but if I am still in the best six batsmen in the team, my retiring will actually reduce the team performance. So I will stick around till I am no longer in the top six even though it may result in me being remembered as only a good player instead of a great one"

    I don't think there is anything wrong with having former opinion but it is the ones with latter opinion who build a country. Peronally I think Ponting and Tendulkar both fall in that category. After 3 bad years, Ponting was on the verge of getting out of the top six. So he retired. Sachin still waits for that fate because there are batsmen who are performing lot worse than him.

  • Johnny Rook on December 7, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    I don't agree with assessment neither Ponting nor Tendulkar. In last 3 years, Ponting's average in past 3 years against top 7 sides is 37, Tendulkar's is 51. So going by your logic, Ponting didn't time his retirement well. Personally I don't agree with that though. Australia needed Ponting after retirement of other greats. He could have retired with a great average but decided to take a punt. He lost that punt but he gained atleast my respect for he took that punt for had he won it, Australia would have been a beneficiary. Same holds true for Sachin. He has earned so much money and respect. If he is putting all that at stake for few more runs, fighting ridicule of so many average people like you and me, it shows how motivated he is and I can only wish other Indian players were half as motivated as him.

  • Mansoor on December 7, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    Always has been and will always be an Afridi die hard fan,probably thats what we need to be(die hard)as his fans.Cricket without Afridi is something beyond my imagination and that is the most scary part for me and all of his fans.But the only certainity in this world is the end and no doubt his career has to end one day, this day or the other however how it ends is more important. One thing that the man has always thrived for is a respectful exit and NOW that sole goal is in danger:( We all know that if he clicks now, he can on to play for another couple of years but performing in INDIA will surely be a steep target.But this is what the man lives for challanges,pressure and last but not the least playing in india, against india. Alot can be lost and everything can be regained and that too at a high rate of interest. He will definately give it a go so all of his fans are standing tall with him and hope n pray that he comes back victorious.

  • basharat on December 7, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    Fantastic! On first sight putting Afridi in the same bracket as Ponting or Tendulkar may look like committing sacrelige, but a mere peep down into the article ensures that Kamran makes sense, as always!

  • Jawad Ashraf on December 7, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    Stop embarrassing yourself Abbasi. It's funny how people like you who couldn't even dream of being on a cricket pitch got the pen to write such great players off. They deserve to go on their own terms.

  • Ali Jaddy on December 7, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Even Ponting left it too late only because India allowed him the small matter of a century and a double century to be scored of them. Other than that he had a barren cup board and he should have retired even before the series against India. So he did not really meet the criteria you have mentioned. He left on a low. I do not want to comment on Sachin and Shahid. Time will tell.

  • Roger Almedo on December 7, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, How can you talk about Sachin and Afridi in the same sentence? They are class apart. Stick to Pakistani cricket, mate!

  • Umar on December 7, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    Pathetic! Sachin is 39, but Afridi is hardly 33 now. How can you even think Afridi should be retiring now? He may even have his best years ahead!

    If you really want curtains to fall, they should fall on Shoaib Malik's career.

  • Faizan Hanif on December 7, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Awesome... An excellent read..

  • Faizan Hanif on December 7, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Awesome... An excellent read..

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Faizan Hanif on December 7, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Awesome... An excellent read..

  • Faizan Hanif on December 7, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Awesome... An excellent read..

  • Umar on December 7, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    Pathetic! Sachin is 39, but Afridi is hardly 33 now. How can you even think Afridi should be retiring now? He may even have his best years ahead!

    If you really want curtains to fall, they should fall on Shoaib Malik's career.

  • Roger Almedo on December 7, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, How can you talk about Sachin and Afridi in the same sentence? They are class apart. Stick to Pakistani cricket, mate!

  • Ali Jaddy on December 7, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Even Ponting left it too late only because India allowed him the small matter of a century and a double century to be scored of them. Other than that he had a barren cup board and he should have retired even before the series against India. So he did not really meet the criteria you have mentioned. He left on a low. I do not want to comment on Sachin and Shahid. Time will tell.

  • Jawad Ashraf on December 7, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    Stop embarrassing yourself Abbasi. It's funny how people like you who couldn't even dream of being on a cricket pitch got the pen to write such great players off. They deserve to go on their own terms.

  • basharat on December 7, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    Fantastic! On first sight putting Afridi in the same bracket as Ponting or Tendulkar may look like committing sacrelige, but a mere peep down into the article ensures that Kamran makes sense, as always!

  • Mansoor on December 7, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    Always has been and will always be an Afridi die hard fan,probably thats what we need to be(die hard)as his fans.Cricket without Afridi is something beyond my imagination and that is the most scary part for me and all of his fans.But the only certainity in this world is the end and no doubt his career has to end one day, this day or the other however how it ends is more important. One thing that the man has always thrived for is a respectful exit and NOW that sole goal is in danger:( We all know that if he clicks now, he can on to play for another couple of years but performing in INDIA will surely be a steep target.But this is what the man lives for challanges,pressure and last but not the least playing in india, against india. Alot can be lost and everything can be regained and that too at a high rate of interest. He will definately give it a go so all of his fans are standing tall with him and hope n pray that he comes back victorious.

  • Johnny Rook on December 7, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    I don't agree with assessment neither Ponting nor Tendulkar. In last 3 years, Ponting's average in past 3 years against top 7 sides is 37, Tendulkar's is 51. So going by your logic, Ponting didn't time his retirement well. Personally I don't agree with that though. Australia needed Ponting after retirement of other greats. He could have retired with a great average but decided to take a punt. He lost that punt but he gained atleast my respect for he took that punt for had he won it, Australia would have been a beneficiary. Same holds true for Sachin. He has earned so much money and respect. If he is putting all that at stake for few more runs, fighting ridicule of so many average people like you and me, it shows how motivated he is and I can only wish other Indian players were half as motivated as him.

  • Johnny Rook on December 7, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Lets say there are two players. One leaves saying "I am not as good as I was. I should retire, else I will be known only as a very good player instead of a great one".

    Other stays saying "Of course I am no where close to be as good as I was earlier and I run a major risk of losing much of the respect that I have earned but if I am still in the best six batsmen in the team, my retiring will actually reduce the team performance. So I will stick around till I am no longer in the top six even though it may result in me being remembered as only a good player instead of a great one"

    I don't think there is anything wrong with having former opinion but it is the ones with latter opinion who build a country. Peronally I think Ponting and Tendulkar both fall in that category. After 3 bad years, Ponting was on the verge of getting out of the top six. So he retired. Sachin still waits for that fate because there are batsmen who are performing lot worse than him.