Home series against Australia, Pakistan likely to be his last September 5, 2007

Tendulkar looks at quitting ODIs

Cricinfo staff

Sources close to Sachin Tendulkar said he was inclined to announce his retirement on this tour but was persuaded by friends to do so at home © Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar is seriously contemplating retiring from one-day cricket after India's home engagements against Pakistan and Australia later this season, it is reliably learnt.

Tendulkar, one-day cricket's most prolific and dominant batsman, will, however, continue playing Tests and will travel to Australia in December.

Sources close to Tendulkar said he was inclined to announce his retirement on this tour but was persuaded by friends to do so at home. India are scheduled to play seven ODIs against Australia and five against Pakistan before the end of the year.

Tendulkar had, along with Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, opted out of the forthcoming World Twenty20 in South Africa.

Earlier this week, he told the Times of the toll one-day cricket was taking on his body. "I enjoy every moment I have on a cricket field, but the recovery times between games these days are difficult, especially for one-day internationals, and that's my major obstacle," he said. "It does take its toll on the body. When you are 22 or 23, you recover a lot more quickly. But at 34, it's not so easy."

His innings at The Oval on Wednesday provided evidence of that; the last few minutes saw him hobbling with cramps, barely able to run the singles and, after his dismissal, taking a long time to climb the stairs to the dressing room.

Most of that innings, though, was spent in the kind of form he has displayed through this tour, one on which he showed he'd lost little of his formidability in one-day cricket. He began with two 90s against South Africa in Ireland, helping India win the series from being one down.

Restored to the top of the order after an indifferent World Cup where he batted in the middle order, Tendulkar has allowed himself the freedom to play the strokes of his majestic youth - the majestic cover drive, the pull and the lofted drive down the ground - and runs have flowed, both consistently and quickly.

In ten innings in the series so far, he has plundered 548 runs, with four 90s, at a strike rate of 84.3. The tour also reunited him with his opening partner Sourav Ganguly, and the pair, the most prolific in the history of one-day cricket, added four more century partnerships to take their tally to 25, 16 of them for the first wicket.

Tendulkar is 34 but already has 18 years of international cricket behind him; his 140 Tests and 394 ODIs have fetched him more than 25,000 runs, the most in international cricket.

He has before him the example of Shane Warne, who gave up one-day cricket in the last stage of his career to help him play more Tests.

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  • Sriram on September 6, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    This really is a sad news but only Sachin knows better about his fitness. Going by his current form which is a reflection of young Sachin the retirement would definitely sound bad. Sure, the grounds will seem to be empty without his presence on the field once he retires. I am sure, that i would cry the last time he walks off the field in ODI and i know same will be the case with other million fans. I am so proud to have seen his matches in stadium as well as TV. Lots of good memories about him to share with my future generations. Hats off to you Sachin!!! You are one of best entertainers.

  • arun on September 6, 2007, 12:23 GMT

    It is the correct decision, despite the form he is in. While there is no doubt that Sachin still remains one of the best one-day cricketers amongst contemporary players, nobody should grudge this decision, considering that he is exiting at the top of his game. This should enable focus his energy on test cricket, and improve upon the performances befitting his status.

  • Ravikant on September 6, 2007, 12:12 GMT

    Sachin cannot be taken for granted by any stalwart in cricket. His news of quitting ODI, does not seems to convincing looking at his way of playing. Let him score 50 (41 already in pocket) ODI centuries and 100 (83 already there) ODI Half centuries and then ask him to retire or quit ODI. Looking at his fatigueness and limping while playing as seen on TV during 6th ODI between India V England, he can get refreshed within arest of two days. I hope he will have 2 to 3 years more as the Great Geoffery Byocott has retired at the age of 41 years. I wish he to continue for those years .

  • Bal on September 6, 2007, 12:08 GMT

    Firstly I don't want the great Tendulkar to retire! But that's me being selfish because I have seen no better batsman ever. The way Tendulkar bats is just amazing, words can not describe! But I understand if the heavy One Day schedule is taking it's toll on his body, considering the fact that he's been playing for 18 years. I truly believe he has one more World Cup left in him, but yes he has to pace him self in terms of the amount of games he plays during the next four years. My opinion would be for him to continue playing but maybe not play all the Tours or even have a rotation policy with another Batsman, for example if there's 5 One Day matches maybe he plays 2 or 3 of those, so if there's 30 One Day matches in 2008 maybe he can play in 18 of those and this way it will allow for some of the youngsters to ease themselves in to the side. I don't believe Tendulkar needs regular matches to perform. Sachin Tendulkar the Greatest Batsman of ALL TIME only needs to turn up!

  • pankaj on September 6, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    I think it the right time for great Sachin to quit the ODIs. This is more for himself rather than anyone else. Every good thing has to come to an end. Remember, if he quits on time, he will contribute to cricket in years to come in one way or the other. I want him to stick around with the team, cricket and Indian cricket lovers...take rest Sachin, it has been a long hard journey for you.

  • lawrence on September 6, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    sachin is seems tobe master of international cricket.But he lacks behind his form for the past few serious . Beeing a master batsman he should be an perfect example for team members. One good example is Ricky ponting of Australia worlds number one alrounder no matter what ever the pitch is and climatic condition he proves himself as best . SOO its better sachin can quit international cricket.

  • nripan on September 6, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    it is a saddest moment that the legend quits.even if the decision is inevitable at some point of time,it is very hard to live without tendulkar.we grew with tendulkar and no icons in india have no match with him in sports,probabily in any fields atleast for two decades.it is a passion,which is going to be ended and we think it is better to take rest in a few series and play only in the most important ones ,to keep off the physical pressure,which attributes to this sudden decision.any way this is a painful news..

  • poorna on September 6, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    Sachin just told that one day cricket is taking a toll on his body, but he never expressed that he is looking at retirement. Unfortunately our media misunderstood the comments he made and gave such a huge shock to millions and millions of Sachin's fans. Optimistically saying, he will play the next world cup too.

  • Bharadwaj on September 6, 2007, 11:42 GMT

    I anticipated Tendulkar's retirement after the ongoing english one day series. This was evident as he made people understand that he was finding it difficult to cope with ODIs. To answer the question, I think it is best to retire when amongst the runs. People will remember one better in the future if one retire on a high. In other sports (tennis), Pete Sampras retired after winning the US Open. This kept good memories of Sampras in fans' minds. Tendulkar should retire when on top of his game. Furthermore, it is better for people to think that one retired when he was still good enough to play.

  • Sheikh on September 6, 2007, 11:26 GMT

    Shachin can curtail some of the one-day series to give rest to his body, if he feel. But one-day cricket without Shachin is unthinkable!

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