February 24, 2012

Stay or go? It's not the player's call

Who decides when a cricketer retires? It should certainly not be the player himself
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It is only the brave and the content who know when to go. It is a difficult combination to possess and a rare person who has it. Some years ago my father wrote of my father-in-law that by opting not to prolong life in the intensive care unit, he had vanquished death at its own game. Giving up a sport might seem trivial compared to life, but for those who play it, and know little else of the world, saying goodbye to the spotlight is an almost impossibly difficult task. Unless, of course, you are bored, tired, frustrated or have a lucrative television contract that you have to take a decision on within a week.

Ian Chappell said he looked at the clock at 11.10, Ian Healy said going to training became a burden, Anil Kumble had taken every painkiller around, Kapil Dev had the record he so wanted and deserved. But for most, playing sport has been a way of life for 20 years, it has been their identity, their badge of honour, their cloak of accomplishment. It has defined them, but often it has blinded them to the existence of another world, one that they must now enter and are unready for; why, even one they might have looked down on, in the company of colleagues.

"Am I going to buy my own tickets?" they might ask. "Stand in a queue to check in? Hope the sponsor I gave a hard time to now remembers me. Damn, I'll play another season."

In the days gone by it was a bit easier. You gave up a little bit of fame but opted for another career while you still could. You got an opening in insurance, or became a school teacher, or - for those more blessed - you entered the lucrative family business. You knew cricket didn't always pay the mortgage or ensure an easy life after.

Now, staying on in the game has a far greater financial value attached. You, or your old classmate who became a chartered accountant, can calculate the future value of being in the team for another year.

It is a real issue, not one to be scoffed at or ridiculed. If we were cricketers at 35, having to take a call on whether or not to end a career, we would think similarly. There is enough money in the bank, but becoming a ghost-written columnist doesn't quite have the same ring to it as walking out to bat in a full stadium.

And that is why the decision on how long to play on must never belong to the player.

I often hear people saying that a Tendulkar or a Warne or a Kallis or a Ponting have earned the right to decide when to go. Of course they haven't. Nobody has.

Team sport at the very highest level is about putting the best people on the park, or those that you know can still be the best, for going through a difficult phase is written in the destiny of every athlete. The decision on whether or not a player is still capable of playing at his best must belong to someone else. To a selector, whose job, whose Hippocratic Oath, is to pick the best possible side for the national team.

And that is why picking the right selectors - proud, independent men who command respect for their integrity - is a key function of those who administer our game. It is a job that requires firmness in taking a decision and sensitivity in communicating it. It is a specialised skill, not a handout to someone who has the time.

It is imperative, too, that the selectors are independent and not pressured by those who might have reasons independent of team requirements. Many years ago in Hyderabad, I discovered that Mohammad Azharuddin was to be the next captain because I overheard someone trying to speak to the president of the BCCI on a long-distance line seeking his clearance. The selector could be overruled. That must not be so.

Now more than ever before, Indian cricket needs selectors of substance who can stand up to the ever-increasing media pressure and exercise their judgement. There are decisions to be taken on the future of four or five of the very best who have played for the country. The easiest place to be a selector is in the media, where you say your bit, remove your make-up and head off for dinner. These selectors cannot do that; they must live with their decision. I hope they make it and not become willing bystanders to someone else's will.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • lgnandan on February 27, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    I agree with Harsha. A player can't leave his team unless he's a main pillar of the team. He should play as long as possible to give his guidance to young players. Especially in tests, Indian seniors need to play some more so India couldn't be a poor Test playing nation after having such legends.

  • Woody111 on February 27, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    First time I've enjoyed Harsha's writing. And agree totally with Smudgeon. This is professional sport and sport owes noone anything. It doesn't matter how accomplished an individual is they have no right to make the team suffer from their selfishness. Ponting was and it took the selectors to drop him from ODIs to give him the message. They'll have to do the same in test cricket. If India don't learn from this tour of Aus and just keep going with Sehwag and Tendulkar in ODIs and those two plus Dravid and Laxman in tests, then expect a rough ride while the new guys find their feet. With no overseas test tours for ages this is a great opportunity for India to blood young batmen as they are doing with their bowlers. India have slid further than Aus did after the greats retired and have further to go. If the BCCI doesn't demonstrate courage and dump all of the big 4 over the next 12 months then they aren't worth a damn. At least Ganguly knew when to go.

  • smudgeon on February 26, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    Ponting is a great example of someone who needs to be tapped on the shoulder. He's got such a strong competitive drive, I can't imagine him ever uttering the words "I'm retiring". Tendulkar I think is similar - plus he has the added aspect of being the most idolised cricketer in the game. Hard to walk away from that, and I don't know that the Indian selectors have the gumption to drop the game's most bankable star, regardless of his form. Some people here have said "Sachin shouldn't retire as there is no-one to replace him" should understand that no-one comes into the highest level fully formed. Tendulkar didn't stride out as a 16 year old as the finished article - it would have been boring if he did. It takes time, and you know what? That's one of the most exciting points in a player's career to watch - you know they have the potential, and it's immensely rewarding for a fan to see potential realised. Frustrating when it's not realised. But that's professional sport, kids...

  • on February 26, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    Player Mat Inns Runs HS Ave 100 50 MS Dhoni 29 27 955 91* 59.68 0 8 V Kohli 40 40 1600 117 45.71 4 10 V Sehwag 15 15 675 219 45 2 1 RG Sharma 21 21 690 95 43.12 0 6 G Gambhir 24 24 942 97 40.95 0 9 MK Tiwary 5 5 163 104* 40.75 1 0 SR Tendulkar 16 16 603 120 37.68 2 2 AM Rahane 11 11 340 91 30.9 0 2 SK Raina 35 33 856 84 29.51 0 4 RA Jadeja 19 16 313 78 26.08 0 1

    Please check the ODI played by our players from Jan 1 2011. Now decide who all to be dropped and who all needs to be in team. SELECTORS must watch this stats too...

  • on February 26, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    AS U SPEAK MR BHOGLE PLAYERS CAN'T DECIDE THEIR RETIREMENT BUT GOD CAN!

  • on February 26, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    Ok well .. Who is Harsha ? Sachinists .. Dont care Harsha from now onwards ..

    There will be definitely a bad period for each and every player .. If India had to play a test series in AUS or SA or on any pitch out of inidan sub continent , our selectors do consider Sachin , Dravid and Laxman for sure ..

    The reason is ,there is no promising players than them atleats as of today ..

    Even in the ODI's , Dear Harsha , do you think there is a player who can replace sachin. Or atleast can deliver better than the current team ? (Actually there would be many , our selectors are failing to catch them up. where is Ambati , why Tiwari is limited to Bench ,Why Dhoni is getting selected for Test Squad, etc etc .. Why Raina is not getting sacked ? , Even though Gambhir has been doing good, why there is a rotation policy should be applied to him ,its definitely going to effect the teams performance ..)

  • on February 25, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Dear HARSHA ... you said that selectors should go for best players in National Team... I am 100% agree with it... now if you have any one who can replace SACHIN .. you can come with it. Otherwise you have to wait for retirement of Sir Sachin Tendulkar...

  • on February 25, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    DONT speak you phrases harsha,you people can only comment a person from outside..note that you or no one has no rights to speak about sachin,you ll speak him high once he scores and the next day if he doesnt perform,you ll add on commenting him..dont speak for popularity..please leave him.respect his achievements...lov u sachin..........

  • on February 25, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    "I often hear people saying that a Tendulkar or a Warne or a Kallis or a Ponting have earned the right to decide when to go. Of course they haven't. Nobody has."-- Well, Mr. Bhogle, they have. And i am not going to talk about past performances here, those you know better than me; hell, better than most in the world. My suggestion, watch Sunday's match and see what happens. I guess, it's time i stop waiting for your articles every friday.

  • stripykitteh on February 25, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    I think any fair-minded reading of this article would conclude that it is not criticizing Tendulkar or any other senior player. It is making the point that the individual player is in no position to judge when to give it away (unless they want to retire). It's basically not fair on the team to let individuals decide to retire 'in their own good time'.

    Therefore the article is not telling Tendulkar to retire; quite the opposite, it is saying that responsibility for picking the team should be left to independent selectors. If Tendulkar wants to keep playing, all he needs to worry about is making himself available for selection. Whether he is in the team is then up to the selectors.

  • lgnandan on February 27, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    I agree with Harsha. A player can't leave his team unless he's a main pillar of the team. He should play as long as possible to give his guidance to young players. Especially in tests, Indian seniors need to play some more so India couldn't be a poor Test playing nation after having such legends.

  • Woody111 on February 27, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    First time I've enjoyed Harsha's writing. And agree totally with Smudgeon. This is professional sport and sport owes noone anything. It doesn't matter how accomplished an individual is they have no right to make the team suffer from their selfishness. Ponting was and it took the selectors to drop him from ODIs to give him the message. They'll have to do the same in test cricket. If India don't learn from this tour of Aus and just keep going with Sehwag and Tendulkar in ODIs and those two plus Dravid and Laxman in tests, then expect a rough ride while the new guys find their feet. With no overseas test tours for ages this is a great opportunity for India to blood young batmen as they are doing with their bowlers. India have slid further than Aus did after the greats retired and have further to go. If the BCCI doesn't demonstrate courage and dump all of the big 4 over the next 12 months then they aren't worth a damn. At least Ganguly knew when to go.

  • smudgeon on February 26, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    Ponting is a great example of someone who needs to be tapped on the shoulder. He's got such a strong competitive drive, I can't imagine him ever uttering the words "I'm retiring". Tendulkar I think is similar - plus he has the added aspect of being the most idolised cricketer in the game. Hard to walk away from that, and I don't know that the Indian selectors have the gumption to drop the game's most bankable star, regardless of his form. Some people here have said "Sachin shouldn't retire as there is no-one to replace him" should understand that no-one comes into the highest level fully formed. Tendulkar didn't stride out as a 16 year old as the finished article - it would have been boring if he did. It takes time, and you know what? That's one of the most exciting points in a player's career to watch - you know they have the potential, and it's immensely rewarding for a fan to see potential realised. Frustrating when it's not realised. But that's professional sport, kids...

  • on February 26, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    Player Mat Inns Runs HS Ave 100 50 MS Dhoni 29 27 955 91* 59.68 0 8 V Kohli 40 40 1600 117 45.71 4 10 V Sehwag 15 15 675 219 45 2 1 RG Sharma 21 21 690 95 43.12 0 6 G Gambhir 24 24 942 97 40.95 0 9 MK Tiwary 5 5 163 104* 40.75 1 0 SR Tendulkar 16 16 603 120 37.68 2 2 AM Rahane 11 11 340 91 30.9 0 2 SK Raina 35 33 856 84 29.51 0 4 RA Jadeja 19 16 313 78 26.08 0 1

    Please check the ODI played by our players from Jan 1 2011. Now decide who all to be dropped and who all needs to be in team. SELECTORS must watch this stats too...

  • on February 26, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    AS U SPEAK MR BHOGLE PLAYERS CAN'T DECIDE THEIR RETIREMENT BUT GOD CAN!

  • on February 26, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    Ok well .. Who is Harsha ? Sachinists .. Dont care Harsha from now onwards ..

    There will be definitely a bad period for each and every player .. If India had to play a test series in AUS or SA or on any pitch out of inidan sub continent , our selectors do consider Sachin , Dravid and Laxman for sure ..

    The reason is ,there is no promising players than them atleats as of today ..

    Even in the ODI's , Dear Harsha , do you think there is a player who can replace sachin. Or atleast can deliver better than the current team ? (Actually there would be many , our selectors are failing to catch them up. where is Ambati , why Tiwari is limited to Bench ,Why Dhoni is getting selected for Test Squad, etc etc .. Why Raina is not getting sacked ? , Even though Gambhir has been doing good, why there is a rotation policy should be applied to him ,its definitely going to effect the teams performance ..)

  • on February 25, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Dear HARSHA ... you said that selectors should go for best players in National Team... I am 100% agree with it... now if you have any one who can replace SACHIN .. you can come with it. Otherwise you have to wait for retirement of Sir Sachin Tendulkar...

  • on February 25, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    DONT speak you phrases harsha,you people can only comment a person from outside..note that you or no one has no rights to speak about sachin,you ll speak him high once he scores and the next day if he doesnt perform,you ll add on commenting him..dont speak for popularity..please leave him.respect his achievements...lov u sachin..........

  • on February 25, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    "I often hear people saying that a Tendulkar or a Warne or a Kallis or a Ponting have earned the right to decide when to go. Of course they haven't. Nobody has."-- Well, Mr. Bhogle, they have. And i am not going to talk about past performances here, those you know better than me; hell, better than most in the world. My suggestion, watch Sunday's match and see what happens. I guess, it's time i stop waiting for your articles every friday.

  • stripykitteh on February 25, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    I think any fair-minded reading of this article would conclude that it is not criticizing Tendulkar or any other senior player. It is making the point that the individual player is in no position to judge when to give it away (unless they want to retire). It's basically not fair on the team to let individuals decide to retire 'in their own good time'.

    Therefore the article is not telling Tendulkar to retire; quite the opposite, it is saying that responsibility for picking the team should be left to independent selectors. If Tendulkar wants to keep playing, all he needs to worry about is making himself available for selection. Whether he is in the team is then up to the selectors.

  • on February 25, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    Totally agree with Harsha..Also agree that Sachin has done lots for Indian cricket, but that does not mean he should play for India until death...

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on February 25, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    @chandan mishra-- Yes persist with sachin..it's better to lose with senior players in teams. Youngsters should retire if they fail!

  • hsitasP on February 25, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    You have written exactly what I had in mind, only that you have put it so succintly, as always. No individual is greater than the team and it is the selectors' job to pick the team based on their current performance and potential.

  • stark-truth on February 25, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    Of course, it depends on how much dignity one has. When you are stopping the way of youngsters, you are nothing but a liability for the nation.

  • on February 25, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    It's about time someone ahd the spine to mention that NO player has the right to decide what time to go. They no more have that right than I do to expect a brilliant performance every time they play. Well called- I dips my lid.

  • on February 25, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    Being a diehard fan of Sachin Tendulkar , I would still say - this article of Harsha is a GEM, no less. All you fans there ,lets agree with one thing - cricket is a professional sport- no rooms for sentiments here, contributions are fine as long as they were delivered consistently.It is not the matter of Sachin or Laxman or Dravid , the basic rule applies to all- It cannot be a player`s call. We all know how Laxman played in the last test series, it was almost like Ponting`s last one day series, the only difference is the call of selectors which is healthy for Australia and NOT so healthy in India`s case. Lets enjoy the matches on the merit of performance of those 11 play on that day and NOT on past performances.It is high time the selectors took some bold steps, come on freinds ours is a country which should be having atleast 11 players as back up for the current 11,the potential is quite huge, it only needs opportunities and some bold steps.

  • Rupesh2804 on February 25, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Superb Article. We Indians are People centric and not Cricket centric. Nobody is bigger than game. Neither Sachin nor Don Bradman. Sachin nodoubt is and will be one of the best citizen produced by our country. But there is a stop to every great thing and even God have to end his avataar. If Sachin is not understanding that his own search for records is putting unnecessary pressure on Team Balance then off cource selectors need to take a this Big Decision. NOBODY IS GREATER THAN THIS GAME..... SHOW MUST GO ON.....!

  • on February 25, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    I don't see why India persist with Tendulkar and the other older players in ODI cricket, especially when they won't be around for the 2015 World Cup. Now is the time to start developing a squad of young players to gain experience so they are ready for 2015. This applies equally to Australia (with Ponting's exclusion) and every other cricket nation. It seems the BCCI and the majority of Indian cricket fans are seduced by individual statistics and records (such as Tendulkar's 100th hundred, which is quite meaningless), rather than the performance of the team and their progress towards the next World Cup.

  • on February 25, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Supposing that a player is not performing but for how long any team should persist with that player? If australian selectors would have not persisted with mike hussey would they have got such an excellent finisher in him.Remember age was not on his side but still liberty was given on his performance. And just because india is losing the game, all the blame should not be bombarded to senior players.What is the amount of contribution a player like jadeja is making to the team? Is he only concerned with making 10 crores with chennai super kings in IPL. For everytime he comes to bowl, he gets hit for a six literally in every over. For everytime he comes out to bat, he gets caught in the covers. Just because he is a youngster and fields well and doesn't even perform in any other deptt,he should be allowed to be in the team. My suggestion is let this black mist on indian cricket team pass away, persist with Sachin and i am sure he will definitely come out with improved performance. Au Revoir

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on February 25, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    @pravinaa - people are discussing tendulkar's position because he is 39 years old , he is not much of a feilder (like ponting or hussey) , he dont bowl his part time leg spin anymore , AND he is not scoring runs (looks to be in good touch though)... and unlike australia we have enough experienced players in our squad atleast for odi..

  • kingcobra85 on February 25, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    Superb Article. In the true spirit of a sport. It's about playing the best you can and for that to happen you have to respect Team India as a institution greater than self. And selectors if they drop Sachin should in no way be taken as a negative or demeaning move to all that Sachin has done for Indian cricket. It just means 22 years have passed since he made his debut. His real work is just beginning.

  • JaiRaam on February 25, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    True and Brave. My heart is warmed that there are a few who can stand up and speak the truth. Teams cannot afford to distinguish one more than another. It is time for Sachin, Rahul, VVS to be given a respectable adieu.

  • aruntheselector on February 25, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    Most of Harsha's thoughts make sense.If it is left to the cricketer to decide his exit,then he would find it difficult as he wont be able to imagine a life after he calls it a day.So he will try to push.Moreoevr in a team sport,interest of the team takes priority.All that could be done with legends is give them a good farewell for their contribution so they could walk out gracefully.I strongly standby kapil Dev and Ganguly that Sachin should have quit ODI after World Cup.That was the only achievement left in his ODI career.Infact as soon as MSD hit the winning six,Sachin should have declared his retirement.Even though Dravid was the highest scorer in 2011,the problem lies that he was not at his personal best like the period from 2002-2006.Also his 100's did not convert to wins or draws.Earlier that was not the case.So time to loook forward.Time for the Big 3 to start their exit.Also,I feel why keep only Sachin among the 3 in tests.Not sure how much value he is going to add.

  • gkcricketteam on February 25, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Bad article. Sachin has achieved and done much more for Indian Cricket to deserve such criticism. I didn't expect this from Harsha Bhogle. Let Sachin decide, he will have much more to lose than gain from losing form (reputation of 22 years of Cricket). Do not blame failure of Indian team on Sachin..

  • venky91 on February 25, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    Sachin will retire if he sees this article....well said Harsha

  • on February 25, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Its easy to call for a player's retirement when he is underperforming. That is a no-brainer. But- to take conscious calls- with the future firmly in mind- is what the selectors are supposed to do. So to drop an older player should be seen in that context. Sachin, Dravid and Saurav exhibited a rare foresight while opting out of the T20 WC- which- the selectors wouldnt have done- in all fairness to the players. And Sachin sitting out of most ODIs till this tour is also another example. BUT - as Harsha says- the truth is- a player cannot decide when to quit. He/she is not the right person to decide on the country's future of that sport while he is playing it.

  • on February 25, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    I think that it is not fair to target Sachin in this way. He still has the potential to play and determination to succeed. It is not fair to drop him after he scored 48 in a match. Then people started howling at him as he did not score much later.

  • Nata on February 25, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    Am tired of everyone asking Sachin to retire...as if the other 10 are attacking tigers! Come on guys, get a life and move on...leave that man alone...he knows when he has to move on...!

  • on February 25, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    In India we confuse reverence with potential. It happens in politics, business and sports, where we worship the cult of personality and are led by people who are well past their sell-by dates. We had our first Prime Minister ruling for 17 years, bequeathing the kingdom to his kin. Guess, Sachin wants to do the same . Nehru was good, but India persisted with him for too long and debiliated the economy. Guess, we are now doing with Sachin. We place too much of value on the past and are driving while being fixated on the rear view mirrors. Sachin should be revered, but he is not the future and his place should be questioned.

  • SpeedCricketThrills on February 25, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    Correct, and well written, Mr Bhogle. I only need to check whether you had a different view on 'when to retire' in the past (hadn't you posted sometime back that Sachin can choose when to retire?).

  • Vishal_07 on February 25, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    I don't know why most people are creating so much fuss about Tendulkar's retirement. Dude has been in the team solely on merit, forever, including now. You cannot have double standard, if somebody is not performing be it a Rohit or a Raina or a Laxman they should be dropped. Based on Dhoni's performance in Test, batting and keeping (and captaincy) in Eng and Aus he should be shipped back to playing Ranji or forced to play in country cricket. And why are people assuming that Tendulkar can't keep on playing till the next WC?

  • Gizza on February 25, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    Good piece Harsha. I don't even see why the super stong fans of Tendulkar want him to stay in ODI's. He has achieved everything in in the 50-over format. A World Cup win and double hundred. But If he retires in ODI's (and quits the IPL), he can play Tests for possibly 3-4 more years because the schedule is a lot less hectic. He still hasn't won a series in South Africa or Australia. But what is more important to Tendulkar? A series win for his TEAM or just the 100 100's for HIMSELF? We will after this series once again see his true personality.

  • gpindian on February 25, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    Harsha is a great commentrator. I always liked him for the commentrator that he is - he brings vibrant colours and poetic phrases to commentry, which add flavour. But a columnist with great insight - nah. He's just like you and me in that department and we all think we are experts, don't we? :) My opinion? I think the second best are not good enough to replace Tendulkar. When Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid or any other great player was picked in the Indian team, they didn't join just because they were "young"; they were picked because they were good enough to replace someone else. That's surely not the case with Rohit, Raina and co, is it?

  • maddy20 on February 25, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    @Yeshu Aggarwal You said "I wonder if his retirement would have been an issue if India was winning or if he was playing well." That's exactly the problem my friend since he has not been performing for a long time now he should realize that he is past his sell by date and take a walk before he is shoved out. I have always enjoyed watching Sachin play but no longer. His desire to hang isirking me lately!

  • on February 25, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    Agree. Also people should retire from commentary as well for their voices and opinions get stale... Any thoughts on that Harsha? Maybe you, Shastri and Gavaskar should pave way for new set of commentators.. have got tired of Shastri's cliches, Gavaskar boring observations and your verbal diarrhea! Start a retired league where SRT, Rahul and VVS can play and you guys could commentate.

  • on February 25, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    I think it's a difficult decision, and despite what people say, one that isn't just dependent on the team. Tendulkar, despite being on the cusp of 39, is still a massive financial draw for India and whether they admit it or not I imagine that will keep him in the team as long as he wants to stay, particularly as even in bad form, he's still averaging more than say, Andrew Strauss, who is in no real danger of being dropped from England's side. I think Laxman needs to pull his own plug, as should Dravid, because if they don't someone else will. Tendulkar, though, providing he is still averaging over 40, could probably play to 45 if he wanted to, purely on the back of his name.

  • on February 25, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    Ideally in cricket terms Sachin and Ponting might be of the same class, but when it comes to fan following I would compare Ponting to Dravid or Ganguly and I think selectors did have the guts to remove them from the team ( in case of Dravid he was performing much better than ponting did). Other than the financial loss which would occur , I guess the selector needs to be assured of police protection, if he has to take such decision.

  • on February 25, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    Dear Die-hard fans, The script is quite well written - we have majority of home series going forth - providing ample room for 1/2 last hurrahs and replacements. Some of senior lot including Shewag - may do tests and move from other format (tired legs). Again we might see India borrowing a leaf from England with captains for formats .... the ODI and T20 needs swifter feet and rather than double centurions on flat wickets. They have done their bit for India and it is time for others. I'm sure Senior can be provided 2 seasons+ of IPL - BCCI/ Sahara Parivar can arrange that.

  • on February 24, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    "In the days gone by it was a bit easier. You gave up a little bit of fame but opted for another career while you still could."

    Easier? Nonsense. The opportunities for retired cricketers are massively increased compared to the past. Commentators, journalists, analysts, coaching, cricket development, sports and fitness, et al. Ewen Chatfield retired and ended up a taxi driver. Can you see the like of Zaheer Khan doing that? Of course not. Someone like Ed Smith barely played Test cricket yet has moved sedately into his new life. Organisations like the PCA help those who are leaving the game find new directions in life. Perhaps in India this is true but it certainly isn't true in Australia and the UK. The days when professional cricketers relied on their benefit to aid them have for the most part departed. Go and read autobiographies by cricketers from the 1960s and learn how much they had to do to restart in new employment once their cricketing days were done.

  • Spelele on February 24, 2012, 23:48 GMT

    Some Sachin (or God, I don't really care) fans are missing the point. The question is not whether or not there is somebody who is better than Tendulkar 'waiting in the wings' as a replacement. Of course there isn't; there never will be! If this logic was to be employed, then Sachin would never retire so long as he lived (as there would be no replacement better than him). No 'great' international player would ever call it quits. Batsmen like Amla, AB, Clarke etc. are all slowly becoming great. They were never 'greater' than any of the men they replaced when they came onto the scene. The point is that there are other players that have so much to offer India provided that they are given a long go. There were times when Amla was woeful, but SA stuck with him. It's always going to happen. New batsmen will fail, but keeping them out on the basis that they are not (or can't be) greater than Sachin denies them the chance to prove that they can. Let them fail to be great without assuming it

  • Mariaj-irdahseS on February 24, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    Mr Bhogle! You are the ArchAngel and the Conscience Bearer for Indian Cricket. Long may you live Sir!

    Kabir Das, it was who said, when we come into this world, we come crying while others are full of joy (usually). We should live our lives such that when our time comes to depart others should cry and we should be full of joy.

    The Seniors certainly brought so much joy to the Cricketing world. Now will they bring tears to our souls when they depart or will we finally be relieved to see them go?

  • on February 24, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    One look at the photo will tell you that Srikanth will cop out & not make any bold changes!

  • ivorycinnamon on February 24, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    Superbly stated, Harsha, diluted of sentiment. Fans of the 'Golden Oldies' will not find this a popular piece. But when has the truth been easy to digest, eh? Yet, the devoted fan too must be permitted his moment of high emotion. It's never easy to see a beloved 'lead character' walk off the stage, perhaps forever. More power to your pen, or keyboard as the case may be these days.

  • on February 24, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    I wonder if his retirement would have been an issue if India was winning or if he was playing well.

  • Tigg on February 24, 2012, 22:19 GMT

    There are several players in international cricket this applies to. Sachin should probably go from ODIs but his Test form has been acceptable. Dravid should still have a bit of credit from England but should be on his last warnings. VVS should be dropped.

    In Australia Mike Hussey should be safe in all forms (for now at least) and Ponting has gained a bit of credit in Test matches. I fear Brett Lee must be skating on thin ice. In T20s he's too easy to milk for runs. He's got a bit more time in ODIs but unless he starts putting in a few more solid performances he must be under pressure. Cummins, Hilfenhaus, Harris, Pattinson and Starc are all right up there.

    Pakistan have Younis to worry about, although he is still showing how good he can be on a fairly regular basis.

    Englands only worry is Strauss. He needs runs, but his captaincy will, and should, take him to the next ashes series at least.

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 24, 2012, 21:59 GMT

    What Harsha is saying is nothing new - it's practiced in every professional sport. NO PLAYER IS ABOVE THE TEAM. Only in India we create these fake GODS and worship them. When Sachin was performing, he deservedly got opportunities to play for India and in the process earned fame and millions of dollars. Now that he has stopped performing, he should thank his fans and retire gracefully. If he does not retire, Selectors need to step up and drop him.

  • Pravinaa on February 24, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    Why are people discussing Tendulkar's position when the whole of the remaining 10 slots in the playing is wide open for any youngster to come in. No one is performing Tendulkar's place should be the last to be decided ,he will bounce back in no time. It is such an injustice meant at someone who has be the most objective player serving the Indian team.

  • Nampally on February 24, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    Every one has a right to his opinion on a subject. Harsha gave his- which is good & frank one. However, I feel as long as Tendulkar is fit & producing, it is his right to decide when he retires. If the Indian team selectors feel a better batsman exists to replace him, let him come forward & be counted. Kohli is the only guy with half decent chance but not in Sachin's calibre.Amongst other youngsters, we hear many names but when they are picked they are abject failures. Raina & Rohit Sharma are 2 examples who never lived up to the high standards expected of them. Sachin got a chance when he was 16. He grabbed it with both the hands and has never looked back. He is still the best batsmen in India, albeit his concentration is fading a bit. There is not one batsman who can hit a six over third man in test, except Sehwag.His defence & technique are so sound that he always looks like he will play till eternity.That is why he is the best batsman the world has seen since Bradman. Bravo Sachin!

  • Nadeemgami on February 24, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    i am fully agree with Mr kapil Dev The great Sachin Tendulkar should stop playing after world cup but i will miss his batting well done sachin

  • idreamcricket on February 24, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    Noone can replace a great player overnight!Does Australia have replacement for Ponting?Did India have for Gavaskar?Did Argentina have for Maradona?NO! You replace the old genius with the young talent and eventually you have good team.Look at the aussies.After marsh,Lillee and Chappell there was void because you just can't find their younger replicas ready! But through fights and defeats Aussies gave us Border,Waughs,Mark Taylor,Healy,McGraw and so on.That's the way other sports are.Life just doesn't stop.And on the recent records of Sachin I should say not much has been done in adverse conditions.When India is 2/10 or following on or on the verge of defeat we got more values out of Dravid and VVS.Just look at recent Ponting in tests. he came in at 34/3 (his place in the team in jeopardy!)and 84/3 in two tests and rewrote the comeback history!Tendulkar has been brilliant mostly in favourable batting conditions.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on February 24, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    i realy feel a little bad for rohit sharma , he was in great form when he came to australia , performed well in practice match.. but then he was made to sit out for almost one month. he should have played in atleast 2 test matches where he could have taken time to get used to the the pitch.. i remember everyone was shouting for dropping kohli until he delivered in perth match

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on February 24, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    what harsha is saying is partly true.. although we fans may not like it, and if sachin still wants to continue in odi let him play in home matches , our younger players are comfortable in Indian home conditions , its is the away conditions lke aus/sa and England that they need experience. only by playing for an extended period can they adjust and bring necessary change to their technique and shot selection.

  • micklem on February 24, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    If he is playing like this for some more time,then Sachin should consider retirement or selectors should sack him.

  • on February 24, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    NO ONE RIGHTS TO SAY ABOUT LEGEND "SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR", HE IS TRUE GOD OF CRICKET, HE GAVE THE PRIDE TO OUR NATION AND HE WONT SPOIL, HE WILL BACK WITH THE BANG.AGE IS NOT A IMPORTANT THING, A TRUE DEDICATION AND SINCERE COMMITMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT. HE PROVED MANY TIMES BEFORE.DEFINITELYR THIS TIME ALSO HE WILL DO.THERE IS PLENTY OF CRICKET LEFT FOR THE LEGEND.HE WILL BE THERE IN 2015 WORLD CUP. SUPPORT OUR LEGEND HE WILL BE THE TRUE GOD.A TRUE INDIAN WILL GET MORE HAPPY ONLY IF OUR LEGEND PLAY CRICKET. SALUTE TO HIM. JAI HIND

  • on February 24, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    Sachin Will now say....Hey Iam going on an two year Break from ODI's n will come back before..2015 World Cup..

  • on February 24, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    Completely agree with Harsha! After all, cricket is a team sport and team's interest must be above any individual's interest. I am a die-hard fan of the master, but the question to be asked is - Does Sachin's body allow him to perform 100% in ODIs? Unfortunately, answer has been no on many occasions. For the interest of Indian Cricket and for his own greatness' sake, he should give up ODIs (may be after one at his home ground in Mumbai). His mediocre performances, off late, have somewhat diluted his batting mastery. However, he should continue playing test cricket for at least next 7-8 months because his elegance and god-gifted skills will certainly fetch him the much-awaited 100!

  • on February 24, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    I have read just 2 paragraphs of your article and knew where you were leading to... if the rest had something different to say am sorry... my point is just this.. leave him alone.. he knows best.. better than you and me.. a million smiles he gave on ppls faces and not sure the new ones can give a quarter of it... hell with it.. let him just play.. if he is the best, he knows best when to leave.. period..!

  • vinayespn on February 24, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    I agree with Harsha that no player playing a team game can ever earn the luxury of retiring at his own will.. never.. Sadly, in India we worship certain ppl instead of looking at them as mere players.. Sachin should retire from ODIs after CB series.. He should have retired when he won the WC in 2011 which was a high point. If he felt he had more to offer, he should have worn a MI jersey to showcase his skills instead of Indian colors..

  • Supa_SAFFA on February 24, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Iconic players like Tendulkar & Ponting deserve a staged and managed retirement for the sake of honouring their legacy to the game. From the perspective of a South African, I can think of Makhaya Ntini being recalled for a final T20 farewell bash, or how Shaun Pollock toured in his last ODI series, saying an emotional goodbye to crowds across his home country. A specially billed farewell for Tendulkar would definitely draw the crowds, say a special series where the top 5 ODI teams play India once-off. Or where 22 international greats of Tendulkar's last 22 years suit up for 1 last invitational.

  • RKB21 on February 24, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Another column of this subject leads to many commenters in Sachin-bashing. Let's keep in mind that Sachin is still the best batsman in India in terms of consistency and reliability in both ODI and Test formats. Unless selectors can find a replacement for him, he deserves his place in the team. They are still looking for a consistently performing replacement in ODIs for Sourav Ganguly. Plus, a good number of fans would not stay up half the night to see a cricket game when Sachin is no longer playing. He brings that extra element of excitement to watching a game like Tiger in golf.

  • on February 24, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    Very well written Harsha. But the million dollar question is from where you will get that honest, upright, independent selector who has the best of the team and game at his heart?

  • Romenevans on February 24, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    In short, Harsha wants Sachin to retire tomorrow morning ASAP! End of the story LOL. Agreed. Period.

  • Paddle_Sweep on February 24, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Stay or go? It's not the player's call

    100% Agreed.

    Who decides when a cricketer retires? It should certainly not be the player himself

    100% Disagree.

  • on February 24, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    AWESOME PIECE Mr. Harsha.. I am happy that you did not act like your fellow mumbaikar Ravi Shastri, who could not even digest Sachin being rested..

  • inswing on February 24, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Let me just say what Harsha could not say due to diplomacy. Tendulkar should not be dropped right now in Tests, because he is still India's best Test batsman based on performance. VVS and Dravid should be dropped. Thank them for many years of glorious service, give them awards, admin or media positions, but drop them please. Retirement is irrelevant. A player will retire when it becomes clear that they won't be selected again.

  • pnvram on February 24, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    I couldn't agree more. When you say a commentator reflects your views you are often just being self-congratulatory, but this is one occasion when Harsha has taken the words out of my mouth--both about the selectors having the courage to drop great players when the time comes, and the need for men of integrity in the panel.

    "I often hear people saying that a Tendulkar or a Warne or a Kallis or a Ponting have earned the right to decide when to go. Of course they haven't. Nobody has." These are some of the bravest, most honest writing on Indian cricket I have ever seen.

    Well done, Harsha.

  • ListenToMe on February 24, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    I do not agree with you Harsha. It might be right for any player except Sachin. The only reason for which I want him to play is to let him get whatever records is remaining for him to achieve. I think he has only two more records to create now: A century of centuries and a century of fifties in ODIs. The selectors can give him chance in all matches that is to be played in home conditions and let him get these records. Only after that Sachin should retire. He deserves this consideration from us.

  • on February 24, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    Badly beaten by the Aussies and the English now is the time for the Indian selectors to inject the national side with new blood.The problem is that whether the Indian public like it or not,their heroes are ageing.How many of the current side are under 30? What are the BCCI doing with all of their wealth?They should be pushing for 'A' and 'B'tours of test match playing nations to discover future Tendulkars,Dravids,Gavaskars,etc.As well as this perhaps a similar policy could be followed by the constituent associations.'

  • anilkp on February 24, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Harsha, this question pertains only to one's conscience; wisdom. Playing for whole year at the age of 39, scoring tid-bids of 20-odd runs is a clear signal that the body has changed. If one failed to listen to conscience, now one must listen to the body. Period. I have two objections: you said Kapil deserved the extension. 29 matches for those 34 wickets? And, you did not quote Naseer Hussain, who cited the likes of Strauss waiting on the wings and did not want to continue. That is listening to wisdom, while Kumble listened to his body. If the trinity is so passionate of playing, why are they stuck with international matches only? Why cannot they quit internationals and go back to the domestic circuit where they can be more effective in imparting invaluable knowledge to the local youngsters and contribute to the future? This shows that they are not as passionate of the game as they make it to look like. All that matters is international fame and money: despite having both aplenty.

  • srinisachin on February 24, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    well, even in 2007 there was an argument that sachin should retire. But the little master came up wilt the bang and contributed heavily to India's success and thus achieved no.1 position in test rankings. All the former players and experts who participated in the debate turned upside down and said sachin is in greatest form ever in his entire career.

  • SomeCents on February 24, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Whatever you say mate. It will still be Tendulkar's call. A god is not god some of the time but ALL the time! However, he still deserves a spot on the ODI team based on non-performance all around him. And he's the best of the 3 slowpokes. But make no mistake about it. It's Tendulkar's call!

  • world.cricketer on February 24, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    NOW all Experts will say Sachin should have Retired after WC than why they were Silent after WC till now its all most 1 year since Only because he has not scored 50 in 5 inng he played Score a very good 48 against SL and also look Solid in the last game Against SL with 22 runs I think WC is not every thing in Cricket.

  • on February 24, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    well Harsha i admire ur articles but not dis 1, Kapil says he shuld have retired aftr WC 2011 but he cannot say so coz for a world record of 430 odd wkts he played 20 matches r so with poor form tats ridiculous; for me sachin luks in grt touch he shuld b maintained in such a way that he ll make a call on high note; The List ll b as follows Lakshman - NZ series @ home 2012 Rahul - Eng series @ home 2012 Sachin - Aus series @home 2012

  • on February 24, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    This is a business decision first and foremost for all involved. The players in question, the BCCI, the IPL owners, the Broadcasters and the advertisers are all joined at the hip and if they agree it's in their interest the players in question will step down. cricketing matters, Ian Chappell or Healy's example, the selectors judgement or the fans sentiments have no bearing in this case.

  • on February 24, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    Harsha, I have never read a more diplomatic piece than this one from you. Even after being so straight and pinchingly sharp you had not mentioned the names or I must say the Name.

  • csowmi7 on February 24, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    the time at which this is being said is really inappropriate. At least let Tendulkar finish this series and then we can make a call. Knowing a player of Tandulkar's class u never know. if he goes on to score that infernal hundred we will be pouring adulation on him. At this point India are struggling and only if sachin and sehwag come back into form do we have a chance of qualifying. Ponting has been out of form for the past 2 years and they have found a suitable replacement in forrest which is not the case with tendulkar who has been until recently in the form of his life. the youngsters have failed to step up and we are in dire need of tendulkar at the moment.

  • on February 24, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    I humbly disagree with the article. What the author is (apparently) confused about is between "retiring" and "getting dropped". It has to be the player's call about retiring from the game. As in other aspects of professional life, no one can force you to stop working. Yes, if the selection committee decides that the player can no longer perform upto potential or expectations, then they should have the courage to drop the player (no matter how big he is). If for instance, Tendulkar, gets dropped and thinks that he can still go to domestic tournaments and force his way into the side; well....all credit to him.

  • sganesh07 on February 24, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    i see this as an article written out of compulsion to write an article to this topic, but with an effort to keep the author's relationship safe with the players on the other hand.

  • AbhijeetC on February 24, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    Finally, A good Article by Harsha. I was expecting your opinion on current saga, to retire or not to retire?.....but you put your opinion very intelligently and gracefully without tempering any emotions. I think instead of speaking about 4/5 people, we should concentrate on big three. the age aren't their side either. I was expecting Sachin to retire (from One day) the next day India won the World Cup. I did not fathom Why did he not retire that time...The best possible moment he could ever had.......and could think of only one reason you mentioned at the top (greater financial value) and just realized even with great skills Sachin is still a mere mortal. It is sad that while worshiping some players like a God we forget some simple facts. About selectors, I don't see any courage and wisdom in current selectors to handle these situation gracefully. In near future, they have to surprise entire nation by taking some tough calls...will they?don't know.....

  • AtticusFinch on February 24, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Harsha, Can Sachin retire or call it a day even if he wants to? Would the vultures who swarm around him actually allow him to do so? And Cheeka? Can he remove Dhoni as Captain however pathetic and ridiculous his performance is? Would the Mandarins sitting at the top of the BCCI Totem pole let him do so and thereby jeopardise their Pet IPL Franchise? I doubt it very much. Both Sachin cannot/will not be allowed to retire in the forseeable future because a lot of Bank Balances depends on this momentous occassion. Likewise, Srikkanth will not be allowed to take tough decisions because he cannot. Period.

  • Maharjani on February 24, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Kapil Dev in the list who made their own choice to quit? Come on Harsha! Despite his greatness as a player, he stuck on like a leech to get after Hadlee's record almost ruining Sreenath's career in the process. Unlike Tendulkar, his last few years were miserable (both as batsman and bowler) and yet he persisted because he could not be thrown out. Sourav's comments on Raina getting bounced out and Kapil's on Tendulkar's exit are laughable to say the least! Kettle calling the pot black!

  • cloudmess on February 24, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    From an English perspective, Graham Gooch should have been dropped from the England side in his late 30s. He had just endured a horror series against Australia in 1989, his technique completely falling apart against Terry Alderman. But the selectors obviously saw something in him, and ignored his age. It was a good call. Between 1990 and 1993, Gooch consistently scored big runs against some terrific attacks, and was rated the best batsman in the world. And Jack Hobbs should have been dropped in his late 30s after world war 1. The selectors should have "gone for youth". What on earth were they thinking, selecting this old man for the next 10 years? Because, maybe, he was still England's best batsman?

  • lyshram on February 24, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    well I don't understand over the debate of sachin retiring from ODI's. Isn't CB series his 1st ODI series post World Cup? He hasn't performed till now in this series but that because of the burden of his 100th 100 and not because he is out of form or sme other non sense reason. He is in great touch unlike Ricky ponting whose time was up which evry1 could see clearly while he was batting. Let the legend score his 100th 100 then see the magic wand wl create some miraculous innings.

  • on February 24, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    in last 3 years sachin have hardly played abroad.......in whatever matches he played he failed miserably..........not even a single 50..........the problem is not in this one series........but for last 3 years............he just choose to play in india scoring heavily making century bolstering his average........so blind sachin followers these are the facts........i m not against sachin........he is one of my fav players.........but u have to move on to future..........he is very much unlikely to play in 2015 world cup to be gng to held in england.........so give opportunities to youngstars......even though they fail they will still have the chance to improve.........

  • gudolerhum on February 24, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Great players know when to shut the shop and move out. They don't have to be told. So great players make the call, it is their decision. Sometimes it is made for them - e.g. David Gower unfairly cut off before his time but that was a decision made by someone else for reason or reasons 'unknown'. Players who long to remain in the spotlight usually do so tho their own detriment and that of the team.

  • on February 24, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    I haven't read the article but I totally agree with your subject T-Up

  • cloudmess on February 24, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    It seems that in today's game, once a player gets past 35, we automatically think about retiring them, whatever their form. You should always pick your best side - forget who was good in the past, but also forget who you think might be good in the future - that is not going to help you win today's game. It is possible that the selectors may think that VVS has failed once too many in the last year. And that Dravid is now looking fallible on quicker pitches. But don't forget how Dravid played in 2011 - that's 2011, by the way, not 2001. Is it time to drop Sachin? If you deem he is no longer one of the best 4 middle-order batsmen in India, then drop him. But don't drop him simply because he is 38.

  • on February 24, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Sachin should be given a chance. He made 22 of 22 in recent match. As a player, he has a right to stand in que, whether selected or not. Its not a matter of 100 of 100, but he should be selected if makes an average of 30-40 in coming matches.

  • Riderstorm on February 24, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    Enough already with the retirement of sachin tendulkar. I understand we don't live in the ideal world of sports when performance is the one and only criteria. If we were, sachin would've have been dropped for the upcoming series to prepare himself all over again. Alas, we don't. Also, everybody who is asking him to consider retirement just look into yourself, most of them are being hypocrites, throwing around sporting philosophies never actually followed it in their heyday. Kapil Dev, stayed just to reach the 432 milestone being ineffective for most part of his later career after 400 wickets. Ganguly, his issues with KKR and persistance to continue in first class attest to his hypocrisy etc.

  • pan_vtm76 on February 24, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Sachin definitly blocks the place of youngsters. In that position he gas earned money and fame. After 20 ór more years it is difficult to find best replacement for him. Any one who him replaces needs time and practice. It can take time but if we move further we find right talent perhaps in Rahne or Mukund. On the otherhand if the selectors decide to continue with Sachin, he will for sure continue to play for country till he dies... Tell me, which cricketer has no desire to play for country. Is it only Sachin...

  • Vivian_Richard on February 24, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    With respect to Harsha. He's a very knowledgable man where cricket is concerned. But, I certainly do not believe that any Tom, Dick and Harry selector for a couple of years should be given enough authority to dictate when a player who's got more hundreds than most cricket followers have runs, has to retire. They certainly have enough power to decide who goes into the team and who doesn't, that should be it. Anything more than that would strip us of the privelege of watching a Brad Hogg stride out onto the cricket field bamboozling youngsters half his age. Performance as always should be the criteria and thankfully none of 'Us' are selectors, we'd be chopping and changing the team every damn match.

  • Optimist74 on February 24, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    Well said Harsha. Ultimately, nobody is greater than the game and the selectors now will have to put the country ahead of individuals and take certain decisions on players be it Sachin or Sehwag or any non performer that they find is hurting India's cricket in future.

    I am sure CHIKA is wise enough to see all this and he will take strong steps to strengthen Indian cricket. Lets wait and see what is in store for team India post CB series

  • on February 24, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    very well put. Actually a lot of money is involved in taking these decisions!!!

  • SUREKA on February 24, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Well, I agree completely with Harsha on the point that Its not a player's call to stay in the team, but to say that the financial benefits are stopping sachin from retiring ( he would earn probably more simply from the interest on the wealth which he has already accumulated). Forget the age factor for a second and treat him as any other player in the team, does one bad season ( and mind you, bad in terms of no. of runs scored, not in form. He looked in majestic touch in each of the innings he played in last few months, just that he couldn't convert those). Doesn't he deserve as equal a chance as anybody else.

  • on February 24, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    if there is anyone better than tendulkar, please go ahead and replace him... should the performance criteria applies only to the seniors? What abt the rainas...jadejas... rohith sharmas...? to get the facts right, there isn't a any quality player that tendulkar is blocking from getting in to the team… half a tendulkar is worth more than combine of all the rainas sharmas and jadejas

  • likesonlytruegreat on February 24, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    A true cricket lover will never write such article. cricket is loving the shot batsman plays with perfection (even if gets out on the very next ball), a rising delivery just out side the off stump, effort put in by a fielder to save that one extra run. it is not about winning. we are humans and not machines. we are happy to play the game beautifully rather than mechanically. Hockey has lost all its charisma because of artificial turfs. first search someone who can play as beautifully as Sachin, till that time, let Sachin decide what he wants. How can one be so ungrateful to a player like him, who gave all indians reasons to million smiles.

  • on February 24, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    This is the worst article written by Mr. Harsha Bhogle. Firstly - I don't agree with Harsha that a man of Sachin's class is not retiring b'coz of money - c'mon its simple - he loves the game - not as he says below - "Now, staying on in the game has a far greater financial value attached. You, or your old classmate who became a chartered accountant, can calculate the future value of being in the team for another year."

    Secondly - the selectors whose whole agenda is to push for players from their own region don't have the class or balls like the Ozzies to sack Sachin.

  • Rajesh. on February 24, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    I generally agree with any things Harsha Bhogle says but not this time.......... To stay or to go is the players' call, not the selectors'. To select someone or not is the selector's job not ask a player to cal it quits. And if the selectors can't drop a player what does it say.......? The obvious thing that he still can't be dispensed with ! And if this article was an indirect reference to Sachin Tendulkar, then the author could do well to remember that a sportsperson's professions is completely different from that of a sports-writer. Harsha Bhogle will only be Harsha Bhogle whereas Sachin will always be Sachin.........!!

  • vishalrishi on February 24, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    In my view The article tries to be generic but subtly it is specific to Sachin. Now i agree that sachin is not performing his best. But he is performing much better than so called "youngsters" we have. So the selectors are very much welcome to drop Sachin but only if we have a replacement. Peter forrest came and Ricky ponting is not getting missed but do we have a youngster who can perform better than Sachin so that we can have our "Best 11"? If Sachin gets out on 45 , people say he is playing bad but if a youngster makes 35 it is his achievement. Aren't we expecting too much from Sachin in every much. He is definitely fairing better than all others. And if we have players who are consistently performing better than Sachin , then only we should talk about whether to drop someone or someone should retire. Not because he has been great in past and now he is only good. Until we have better players we should let Sachin play in peace and should not demoralize him.

  • Biso on February 24, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    Harsha I do agree with what you have said. But, I would like to add that the selectors, frankly and unfortunately, are left with very little choice. Other than Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara there is no young batsman who appears to be of international class. About Rohit Sharma and Raina, let us be candid- These are players with limited abilities. As for Rohit, the stream of accolades from supposedly knowledgeable people about his potential or talent, carry very little meaning on the field We are yet to see any innings of substance. Frankly we wont. Raina will always give his best. But, his best is nowhere near what test cricket needs. The fact that we have a Ravindra Jadeja , a jack of no trades other than fielding and Parthiv Patel another poor wicketkeeper and ordinary batsman still in consideration, that alone is disappointing and. frightening.

  • baba6660 on February 24, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    Dear Harsha, As far as your conclusion is concerned: "The decision on whether or not a player is still capable of playing at his best must belong to someone else. To a selector, whose job, whose Hippocratic Oath, is to pick the best possible side for the national team", there is no disagreement and definitely the best team needs to be picked and should play. However the question is which that best team would be and who takes a decision on that? Is it really being left to the Selectors? What some of us observe right now is that there is a concerted effort to ensure that the big three - VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are removed. From the manner in which some of these articles and essays are being orchestrated, it is quite apparent that the right decision according to some of you will be achieved only by removing these big three. Instead of beating around the bush why don't you guys say this openly? It may also not be a bad idea to go in a procession to represent to BCCI !

  • A.Ak on February 24, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    Srikanth is one of the bold and straight forward person on board. he can handle it better than any one else. When he announced the team for the world cup, I remember many was against it. He just said 'just support the team, they will do well', eventually we became champions. Let the people do their job. We should not say what Srikanth or Sachin need to do. Sachin knows his job very well.

  • on February 24, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    crficket will almost die,a bitter truth but yes it would,stop all these nonsenses,have you not seen empty stadiums in india when sachin & shewag did not play,,stop talking about giving chances to youngsters,vijay,karthik,rohit,raina,parthiv they were your so called youngsters and where is their talent.remember players like sachin bind a nation together,ppl might talk about indian cricket having several superstars but in reality there is not,for all those who hate sachin,it was funny and shocking while during the last test seris against australia ,sachin getting out just before the day was described by ian chappel,ravi shastri as a huge loss for the australian cricket board, said the treasurer was praying to god as sachin remaing not out meaning a full house next day,but it did not happen and treasurer had thousands of dollar losses..

  • timtom on February 24, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    Again lot of people asking SACHIN to make way for youngsters? When he made debut who position did he occupy ...Sachin made it purely on merit and positioned his place with superlative perfomnces on field.. If there are really good prospects they will make to indian team and not at the expense of Sachin who is still top2 rungetters of indian team in ODI and test.. Actually there are no outstanding prospects which is the truth ... THe 11 on field is the best India have got..if they dont perform there will not be any overnite SaCHIN/RAHUL to replace them.... Rohit when gets going is sheer class and magnifienct..But problem is he never gets going wiht over 70ODI..

  • on February 24, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Tendulkar averaged 46 in 2011 ..... and his record in past 5 years is (100 matches at avg 47.68 & 10 hundereds)......and people are talking about him in the same category as Ponting (last year avg 40... with record in past 5 years 137 Matches at avg 41.72 & 12 hundereds)...................Firstly Tendulkar's recent record is far superior to Ponting plus Tendulkar's record last year as well as in past 5 years is better than his overall career record, it implies he is improving not declining...........One bad ODI series does not qualify him as a burden on team.............With improving record no wonder we might find Tendulkar playing in 2015 WC...and again scoring 2nd highest runs like he did in 2011 WC.

  • on February 24, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    Harsha, it is pity that u r not saying directly but giving indirect reference to sachin. Why cant u start your article with "it is time for sachin to say goodbye to cricket"?

  • Marktc on February 24, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    To me this is simple. I do believe a player has the right to call it a day when he sees fit. Many of the older guys have still got lots in them. Kallis has a while to go and I still think Ponting has runs in him. Furthermore, with the money flying around who can blame them for milking the cash cow if they can. Besides, if they are still in form, why deny them? Having said that, although a player should have the right to decide, the selectors have the right not to pick him should he not be producing. So, if player X is not scoring runs and/or not taking wickets, he simply is not selected. Simple as that. He will go back to provincial/county cricket and if he is not good enough, will fall out there as well.

    But to deny players to play simply on age is incorrect. It is their careers so they should be allowed to call it a day. BUT, they do not have to be guaranteed positions in teams where they do not deserve it.

  • ramli on February 24, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Selectors could drop a hint that the so-called not-so-performing legend is fast slipping out of their radar... so that ... the legend can retire in grace before any humiliation (like Kapil) ... but .. if the legend chooses to ignore ... he can be dropped (like Ponting) ... in Sachin's case ... the selectors are yet to drop that hint with him ... the moment they do so .. I am sure Sachin will not stay for a moment ... even if he does not get to that needless figure of 100 centuries ... but ... do we have such selectors?

  • rnarayan on February 24, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    The headline is completely misleading: Of course it is up to a player when he retires! Wheteher he gets selected obviously not up be up to him. I once asked former Indian opener Abbas Ali Baig about his not announcing his retirement. His response was that since he didn't announce his entry formally, there was no need to announce his departure.

  • on February 24, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    similar to that suggested by ganguly that sachin should reconsider playing odis.but has ganguly considered why is he still playing first class cricket for bengal and blocking a place which may have given us a talented young cricketer?if this is not hypocrisy then is this simply the love for the game or emotional attachment with the profession or respect accorded by the society for meritorious service rendered by the person concerned which allows him or for that matter sachin to go on?

  • Vnott on February 24, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Harsha- You have communicated a very difficult piece in a very graceful way. It is not easy to say good bye to Sachin, Dravid, Laxman or a Kumble leave alone asking one of them to pack bags. It does not matter whether there are ready replacements - It does not matter whether the player himself reads the writing on the wall. It also does not matter if Sachin scores two hundreds in a row now, Dravid or Laxman in the next test series. It is a fact that the presence of Sachin does not send a shiver to the opposition anymore or provide comfort to the Indian team or supporters. A Dravid is no longer a wall though he did score 3 super hundreds in England... There is a legacy which these legends need to leave. That image is dented. It is not shattered. Not yet. It is their responsibility to not let that deteriorate more. The selectors need to be strong to guide them and explain them the importance of moving on. The process has to start.... if not done so already....

  • Valavan on February 24, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    Spot on Harsha, Does BCCI have the guts to axe or drop Sachin from ODI team or from Test team, Everyone knows how Ponting got axed in ODIs recently, But its totally upto Indian management, seems they dont see the game in longer vision, Its really poor that a population of 1 billion can rely only on Sachin and no replacement. Gavaskar, Shastri call for Dravid retirement, i think Dravid was off colours in Australia only but Sachin is off colours since WC Finals, Seems India cannot afford loosing matches with new faces, rather they will put their heds down and give irrelevant excuses when they fail with out of date Big match players. Few of guys said Dhoni won the world cup due tho sachin, yuvraj and khan, why these 3 were hapless in 2007, 2003. Captaining a team with 3 or 4 who dream about captaincy is really dificult, so can feel the tension of Dhoni. cricinfo please publish.

  • on February 24, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Last week clearly displayed the difference in the mentalities of the Australians and Indians when it comes to cricket. Despite a phenomenal test series Ponting was dropped from one dayers and was virtually told to retire. He was also on notice for his test place before the series. Many Indians believe that seniors know when to quit. Gambhir said that publicly, latest was Vengsarkar to say the same. I totally agree with harsha that it should not be the case. Other argument given is do we have players to replace these legends? Well, there is only one way to find out. Even Australia can never replace Ponting in true sense but they moved on.

  • on February 24, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    what is the point being made admist all the verbosity?Who will replace Tendulkar?Rohit Sharma has not done anything nor has Suresh Raina.Indians need to understand the 'loyalty and gratitude' words! An entire generation has grown looking up to the great man.He knows exactly when to make a call...this 'youngster chance' theory is pure rubbish!

  • Aristocratt on February 24, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    Good article. It is the same dilemma broadcasters face when they have to axe a senior commentator who's been selling his personal biases to millions on TV…

  • Bapi on February 24, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    Very Good Harsha. This Article is very one. Definitly a player has evry right to retire or not. But in the same way a selectors job is to select best possible team. Why a selector should worry that when that player going to retire or not.

    I am surprised that Players after playing so long can't decide, what is good for team, where they always said that it's a team game & they play for the team and not for personal satisfaction.

    Please whoever reads this pray to God for 100 century for Sachin.

  • Heman1110 on February 24, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    "In India Cricket is religion and Sachin is a GOD..." Well said and its true as well. If Sachin will leave the cricket I can bet, cricketing craze in India will go down and it will badly affect other cricketers who are enjoying money and fame these days. Because this GOD has only created and increased this mania of Cricket in India since more than two decades. Yahh, but it will be very good for other sports in India. So my advice to current Indian cricket team members and upcoming players who have decided to make there career in Cricket, should pry to GOD that "Don't give Sachin a thought of leaving Cricket". Because still there are 80% Cricketing fans in India who are just watching Cricket because Sachin is playing.

  • on February 24, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    wonderfully written Harsha...

  • Harishonthemic on February 24, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    I totally agree with Harsha. (Pls. read this comment fully before ignoring.) Who would expect an ageing cricketer earning truckloads every year to retire? Do you expect him to say"Ok, today I am hanging up my boots and send those trucks (read 'endorsements') back". Get real. His reflexes naturally slow down and he's slow to change his stance/shot to the subtle variations that fast bowlers produce clocking more than 140kmph. That's how most of the accomplished Indian batsmen got out in all the recent test series including the home series against WI. Kohli and even Ashwin hit maiden tons but our stalwarts could not. If the players can't take a decision for themselves, the selectors must. Personally I think that NSP of Australia did a brilliant job. If Ponting hit a century in the next ODI, he would be staying in the team a little longer on the back of that century producing a series of dots (small scores) in between. So will Indian stalwarts if the selectors don't take it seriously.

  • Ramkishan on February 24, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    Sachin is one of the most skillful players with the greatest of cricketing brains and hence one of the most successful of all times ever. Not being authoritative kept him from being a good captain, also considering the kind of players he had at his disposal as compared to more 'luckier' ones later on. Ganguly would always vouch for Sachin's ouster 'coz he is undoubtedly very jealous of Sachin's achievements which he also could have, with his talent, but because of wanting to impose himself more than his chewing capacity, but that definitely helped him being a great leader of lesser men. Sachin wil retire from ODIs after this series downunder. Despite his age, there is no one even on present form to replace him. His services are required for the present series. Yes, the youngsters need to know how it is in Oz land before 2015, and they r getting enough. Cant say that Man Tiw would last in intnl cricket till then even if given adequate chances so why not keep more winning chances now.

  • on February 24, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    For the first time Harsha, your words are not backed by facts. ONE series. That's it. And let me be objective rather than psychofantic. Lets face it.. Sachin has had many such periods throughout his career, and then making up with a few good knocks. He's not Michael Hussey If we could face that then, certainly we can face that now. Who's his replacement, Virat Kohli, the guy who is still learning the ropes w.r.t how not to throw his wicket away? Rohit Sharma? Please don't let me get started about him. Yuvi is under treatment. Sehwag treats batting as a Govt Job. Dhoni comes way down the order. Gambhir alone can't win us matches. So who????

    Sachin is still one of the fastest between the wickets, great throwing arm, committed fielder, safe pair of hands.. and he will be back with a bang. Please don't join the slam-sachin-bandwagon. The INDIAN team as a whole has failed on this tour, not just sachin.

  • on February 24, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    I dunno why ppl r back of sachin! Thr's no news abt sehwag..Sachin is a swt spot for critics.. Jus 1 bad summer ppl needed! Its apparent that ppl r jealous of sachin! Sachin still got 2 years left in him for sure!

  • ramjay58 on February 24, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    Excellent writing. I am happy someone like you has told that it is not the right of the players to choose when to go. Even SRT is not exempted from this. It is hightime SRT sees the writing on the wall and hang up his boots before the public outcry pushes him out.

  • thinktank1 on February 24, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    I doubt if Sachin is prolonging his 100th century intentionally.. There were some 80's and 90's few months back and he didn't seem to be interested in scoring 100th century. It's not a big deal for Sachin to score 100 if he really wants to. I really doubt his game now a days.

  • on February 24, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Completely disagree Harsha...

  • sony_sr on February 24, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    So you are trying to say sachin is continuing for financial reasons. You might be kidding :)

  • PointFielder on February 24, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    Sachin has gone through criticism before as well. So this article is no surprise. As usual the master Blaster will keep knocking runs. The selectors know sachins abilities and it is reflected in Sachins performances. What sachins supporters will say here and what his crtics say here won't matter. What matters is what selectors think, not what critics think. What matter is how much runs Sachin will knock in next series, not whether fans think he cannot knock them. The decision makers have been taking correct decision for past 20 years regarding Sachin atleast and i won't be surprised if it continues in future in spite of all his critics downplaying his skills off field. Same critics will sing his praise when he knocks good runs again. So take a chill pill.

  • mathewjohn2176 on February 24, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    Very well written article.If players don't retire even after poor form,then selectors should do the job to make a balancing playing eleven. @ kiwirockers,tendulkar won the world cup due to Pakistan team butter fingers in semi- final and 65 m ground is for both Pakistan and Indian team.DRS applied to both the teams and if you think DRS is dodgy then saeed ajmal is taking more wickets due to dodgy DRS in UAE.England,Australia and south Africa are building for 2015 world cup where as subcontinent teams are going backwards.

  • Ozthewombat on February 24, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    It is a hard decision for either a player or selector to make to end the career of any senior player. I pesonally think that whenever Sachin goes there will be a large piece of something special missing from the Indian side. To me Sachin has been an absolute joy to watch. There are very few cricketers that can make everyone stop and watch whether it is scoring 30 or 100. Sachin has struggled in Oz but he is not the only one so it is unfair to lay blame at just one player. It is for the BCCI to look at things like fitmess, preperation, etc to ensure that the Indian team is ready for overseas tours.

  • venugopalm on February 24, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    Very good Article, hats off Harsha,In my view is that Sachin will never retire from ODI nor from Test, Very Very Shame for Indian Cricket,

  • VIK_Raju on February 24, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    I totally disagree with Harsha. Not just Sachin/Warne, EVERY player has a right to decide when it's time to go, simply because it's his career. His source of income. His life. For us to be telling Sachin/VVS- time you retire, is being very cheap. The selector's job is to pick the best XI-yes, but not to end someone's career, Mr. Bhogle. If they aren't playing well, they're dropped to make way for another player. But the decision of terminating their career rests solely with them, it's their fundamental right. If they think they can still have it in them to fight back for a place to represent the nation, they have the right to. If they feel they can't, they retire. And that's all there is to it. There's no need to blow a simple thing like this out of proportion.

  • yorkerguru on February 24, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Hey Harsha! that was indeed a good article!!

    But a player cannot select himself for a side in any team! even a fifty plus average in domestic circuit doesn't win him a place in the national side... So ti is very difficult to make a comeback... if you give this power of unselecting or retiring or dropping to the selector there also should be merit to the performance... Age does reduce fitness but if the player could be the only person who can make an easy 100 among the best eleven.. then there is a problem with the 11 members who have been selected... So what??? will you drop the 11 young guns who are consistently failing or the one proven performer who is underplaying??? or may be in a dry patch before retirement??? They should be honoured and they should be given the choice to retire by themselves... selectors cannot take this decision except if the player doesn't score a hundred in 100 matches...

  • blaster.pk on February 24, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    WOW nice to see some articles like this. Harsha iam wondering why it took so long to come up with this article.Was this not appropriate to come out when Sachin did not announce his retirement after world Cup. Writers like you and commentators like shastri ganguly , gavaskar and nikhil chopra did not suggest sachin to retire after World cup, WHY WHY ?? In just 8-10 months you say retiring should be in the hands of selectors.Thats means that sachin is not only the culprit, even writers like u and commentators like gavaskar, shastri are also culprits b'coz of not opening mouth at right time.

    Sachin is a wrong role model

    1.Always open the innings irrespective of what the team requirments are.( remember only greg chappel forced sachin to bat at 4) for which sachin opposed. 2.Stay there for 50 overs and score a hundered. ( Anyone who wants records will can do this) 3.Most of the times dishonest even after playing 600 games ( sachin never walks when he nicks) unlike LARA OR GILI.

  • ujverm on February 24, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    I used to be a fan of Sachin and still I am. But more than that I have been a fan of India for the last 10 years. Earlier cricket minus Sachin didn't make any interest for me as there were very less occasions of a fighting Indian team in Sachin's absence. But now the time has changed. Earlier, when Sachin got out then we thought India lost the match. Now, when Sachin gets out we say gosh, we lost an imp wicket. The whole point here is that now Team India has become a team of which Sachin is a part. He should stay or go should never be decided by any other person other than Sachin. But whether he should play or be dropped should not be decided on Sachin's record or personna - that would be a disgrace to other team members. Giving chances to youngsters is not the question here but giving chance to performers should be approach and it should apply to each and every member of the team.

  • maddyjagadish on February 24, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Good article harsha. In india players are always above the game unlike australia.... when to retire it's not the choice of a player, no matter how great the player is ... If u give that right to player when to leave the game it seems like the player has done favour to the game .... in india selectors are also in awe of the stars so they also can't do anything unless the star himself retires .... especially in india selectors dont have the courage to take tough decisions ...

  • on February 24, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    Sachin Being in the team does no good for team india, as there are several other senior players like sehwag, dhoni, zaheer etc., who have a very good chance to last till 2015 WC. Sachin got every laurel that possess in ODI cricket. His presence in ODI is not favoring anybody, not even his body copes with his age catching up. He is in a terrible form with bat which is enough for the selectors to axe him from the team. But am sure that the selectors will wait until sachin call it quits !!

    We have seen what happened with ponting who is next best to sachin in ODI and he was dropped from the squad. I seriously felt that he should be given a fitting farewell in the ODI's. Hope sachin get the right call at the right time ie., by announcing his retirement from ODI, if not he deserves the same fate as ponting.

  • rahulcricindia on February 24, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    That was a fine piece sir, i know few people can take it otherwise but you've perfectly maintained what you want to convey...

  • Kalran on February 24, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    It is the player's call to determine his availability. It is the selectors' call to determine the player's selection. People who say that nobody has the right to say when Sachin should leave are correct. That is Sachin's call alone. But nobody has the right to say selectors should pick Sachin or drop him. It is the selectors' call alone. (I don't thank that our selectors are capable of making that call).

  • on February 24, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    jus view on da page,,, sachin's future,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • philipm3 on February 24, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    @mrgupta So, what you're saying is that no matter what alternatives are on hand, or how much talent is coming through they should have to wait and stagnate until Mr Tendulkar is ready to leave on his own terms? Who exactly are you to assume that he would be so selfish? I don't know the man, but the example he sets is of someone who puts the interests of his team and nation before his own, so I would imagine if it came to the point where his staying was no longer the best option by those measures he would not argue the judgement of the selectors. I think this is a well reasoned article which is fair and considers all sides of the argument. It's a shame that any mention of SRT seems to bring exactly the opposite out in these forums. As for the writer somehow equating him to GOD - if you're older than 12 that's quite sad. The game is run by administrators who employ selectors, they select players, they do this in the team's best interests... it's not that hard a process to grasp surely

  • PointFielder on February 24, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    HAHAHA. I just cannot stop laughing. Sachin is suddenly a bad cricketer after this one series.

  • ujverm on February 24, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    @mrgupta - its very pity you think like that. We all love Sachin for all the services he has given to the country. But the way you are portraying him is not right. After all its not a one man show (that used to be earlier). Its a team game. We should treat him as a team member not the godfather of the team. Whether he should retire or not its purely his decision. No one should have a say on that. But whether he should be selected to play or not it should not be his decision. The yardstick should be same for each and every player in the team.

  • GanJack on February 24, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Excellent write-up Harsha. Very neatly done and accurately supported by facts. A refreshing change from you considering I'd almost given up on you - cue - your not so great commentary.

  • on February 24, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    Kapil Dev desrved to beat Hadlee's record, utter rubbish it was his selectors allowing to carry on that broke the record it was embarrasing and shameful from the BCCI.

  • BULTY on February 24, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Well Harsha, you've attempted a subject which is so sensitive atleast from the Indian perspective and the average Indian cricket fan has correctly guessed who you are aiming at. I also agree with you that the decision when a spoertsman should retire should not be entirely his. Take the example of Dravid. He had not announced formally his retirement from ODIs since he was not considered for selection and when he was selected; he promptly announced his retirement from both ODIs and T20s. Now how many can do it in the present era. Ponting, sort of, had to be shunted out. Should Sachin wait to be meted such a treatment? The Indian selectors, of course, need to be firm yet polite when dealing with the so called seniors. After a period of time, the seniors take their place in the side for granted and want it as a right, which is very bad and leads to autocracy and has to be curbed. The BCCI should chalk out a programme for life of those seniors post their retirement from the game.

  • santoshjohnsamuel on February 24, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Although i broadly agree with what's been proposed (in the light of Ponting's axing), i feel it is not practical in India. Sports in Australia is driven by professionalism and placing the team above all else; their selectors are also a reflection of this culture. In India, it is mostly the players who drive themselves, the BCCI cannot be said to have the same vision and discipline that CA has. To expect our board to then appoint men who would not be susceptible to pressure is flippantly wishing for something that is not possible. Our performance overseas, the lack of true pitches, the crazy ODI scheduling, the emphasis on IPL, the neglect of domestic matches, the conflict of interests fiasco involving Shastri and Gavaskar, the resigning of Kumble from NCA, and so on, are all indicative of the priorities of the BCCI. All of these issues have been pointed out a number of times by experts and other knowledgeable people. Selectors with integrity cannot magically appear one fine day.

  • PointFielder on February 24, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    Wow, what a stab at Sachin indirectly. On bad series and harsha is jumping over Sachin like a typical fair weather cricket fan. have people forgotten Sachin was oin good form in World Cup and his innings top of the order were crucial in what "team India" achieved. Are we so impatient that we want Sachin to knock tons in every series. Cannot he go through a single bad series. The whole team is having a bad time in Australia, but Sachin is the scape goat. Can we know why you are asking to retire? is it because he had just one bad ODi series? Is he slower than Ashwin, Sehwag or Gautam? or is it that sachin is not the ones who will speak back to his critics in press so people keep taking advantage of his humility?

  • cric_kumar on February 24, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    Com on Harsha so you also joined the chorus why this talk of juniors and seniors first time in my life i am hearing this talk so much its about the team, is Sachin still good to be in the eleven the answer is a definite YES! so thats it. dont blame selectors and dont say 2015 world cup its far off, we are playing in Australia thats why Sachin is Keen to play not for his 100th ton as most of you think otherwise he would have played in the windies ODIs, instead of being negative please enjoy pure cricketing shots coming of Sachins blade as you saw during his last game againt SL just 22 runs but pure cricketing shots not ugly swipes or slogs. In Cricket you know form is temporary! class is permanent! applies the best Sachin will come back strong and prove U CRITICS WRONG

  • on February 24, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    No individual is bigger than the game. Not even Sachin. Performance is the key. But at the same time, the rule should apply for everyone. Sachin or Sehwag, Dravid or Raina. Age shouldnt be the deciding factor. We are only talking about Sachin because he has aged? Yes he hasnt performed lately but who has in Indian team? If selectors are to decide who says then let it just be on the basis of performance and not anything else.

  • shishirp on February 24, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Independance of Selectors...thanks for putting this up so subtly...I did read between the lines, and agree that the current bunch, especially Srikkanth with his deep connections with BCCI president is incapable of being independant. I guess the tenor extension was also a reward of the "dependance". It is high time for BCC admin to realise that for preserving their own interest, they shd stay away from team selections. I don"t think that it will happen soon though; as the overall system in BCCI has become complacent and considers the game as cash cow. As Dravid aptly described in his Bradman Oration, nothing is permanent, and we will see the administrators running for cover sooner than later as the crowds and the TRP ratings have started thinning already!

  • nithesh_87 on February 24, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    "Team sport at the very highest level is about putting the best people on the park, or those that you know can still be the best, for going through a difficult phase is written in the destiny of every athlete."

  • on February 24, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    @kiwirocker...dude u might want to know that Imran indeed retired after 1987 WC and then came back from retirement to play for Pakistan..

  • on February 24, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    Write or not to write? It's not the writer's call...Its the readers call...Harsha should stop writing..:P :)

  • Yogesh_D on February 24, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    Surely NOT the commentator's job!!!

    May be time to retire for you Harsha....

  • on February 24, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    well said mr Harsh.I appreciate u for what u said but i thinks it should be the voice of our selectors they must hav to droped the person who unbalanced the team with there performance or off field behavior.....no one hav rights to play with the sentiments of supporters...even for tendulkar i don know him i know his class that is lacking so he must hav to go......

  • maniiyer on February 24, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Interesting Article Mr.Bhogle but beg to differ .Just as executives in the Coporate world move from an organization to another so also cricketers should plan for their future once they are nearing the end of their career .Moreover after years of service to the country ,it is improper for selectors to tell cricketers that they no longer fit into the future .Best approach would be a honest communication between the selectors & the players nearing the end of their career.Of course if the players themselves are "brave & content" to decide when to go ,then it is the Best option.The legendary Mr.Gavaskar retired as Captain after leading India to Victory in the 1985 World Championship of Cricket ,scored a maginificent 96 in his Final Test Innings & exited the ODI stage in a World Cup Semi Final in front of his Adoring Home Crowd .Like his batting ,the timings of each of his retirements were near perfect.

  • on February 24, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    The whole yesterday, I was thinking who is better replacement to Tendulkar now?The same was echoed by Vengsarkar. I ask those who support the idea that Sachin should retire, to bring a name who can replace him.The whole Indian team is not playing except few on different occasions. So why blame him.He has been the most humble and able cricketer of all time.He does not say anything in his defense that does not mean that anyone and everyone will go on saying...He knows when to hang....

  • StanfordT20 on February 24, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Quite baffling, really, how you can call this selector's job unenviable - the top 6 bastmen in the test squad have been the same for 5 years, and 4 of those 6 have been there for 20 years! The bowling attack has been more or less similar for the last 5 years. You couldn't really ask for an easier job - could you? In a country renowned for spinners, all we could muster at sydney was a 0-157 returns in the match from our spinning wizard Ashwin. Call me a synic, but somehow he plays for CSK who are owned by the current BCCI president, who oversees the chairman of selectors krisszz srikanth (sorry, forgot to add the additional k).

    Of course the BCCI president says there is no need for concern, so let's not worry unnecessarily folks.

  • crikbuff on February 24, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    The bottom line is that Indian selectors are spineless and don't take accountability for the team's performance. And Srikkanth is the biggest example. The selectors failed to phase out the seniors and blood youngsters into the test team. Now they are not taking hard decisions about the ODI team as well. Srikkanth has pushed for TN and CSK players (Mukund, Vijay, Raina, Ashwin) and will one day try to bring in his son who doesn't even deserve to play Ranji trophy.

  • anuradha_d on February 24, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    Harsha....be real...those who have power will exert it...so critical matters like captaincy selection will be "ratified" by the power holders i.e BCCI.

  • mrgupta on February 24, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Rubbish, i agree most of the times it should be the selector who decides when a certain player must go but in case of Sachin Tendulkar its he who will decide. Who are you to tell him what to do? Didn't expect this from you.

  • on February 24, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Awesome...Some one had to say this...as clearly and firmly - well articulated piece.... loved two lines more then all else (a) It is a job that requires firmness in taking a decision and sensitivity in communicating it (b) I often hear people saying that a Tendulkar or a Warne or a Kallis or a Ponting have earned the right to decide when to go. Of course they haven't. Nobody has.

  • AB99 on February 24, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    I appreciate the vaccum that these sportsmen would have in the peak of their life. For example, a doctor would start her/his career at around 35 whereas sportmen would finish at the same age. This is where the BCCI and the other governing bodies should help players to prepare for a life after their sporting careers are over so the insecurity is not addressed. Also, can Harsha tell of 6-8 young cricketers in India who are ready to replace ZAK, Sachin, VVS and Rahul. Lest he forget, we are still searching for a suitable replaciement for Ganguly ... more than three years after his retirement ... Kapil Dev extended his career for the world record ... and played 53 more matches than Hadlee to break the record. Only Sunil Gavaskar and Javagal Srinath retired when they had at least two years cricket left in them.

  • on February 24, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    I am sure Sachin is wise enough,& he has purposely extended his ODI career just for this CB Series,his experience is priceless for India to stand a chance. I am sure he'll retire,atleast from the ODIs after CB Series,since he knows that he won't be a member of the 2015 World Cup.

  • on February 24, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    Its not players call.Agree. But it is GOD's call and he will decide by his own!

    *A to Z Qualities that every person to be learned from Sachin:

    A: Admiration, Adulation, Attention B: Belief, Brave C: Charity, Commitment D: Dedication, Devotion, Durable E: Encouragement, Endeavor F: Fearless G: Gratitude H: Humanity, Humble, Honest I: Intensity, Innovation J: Jive K: Kind L: Loyal M: Motivational, Master N: New ideas O: Overhaul P: Perfection Q: Quality R: Respect S: Steady, Silent T: Temperament, Technique U: Undertakings V: Volatile W: Wonderful X: X-treme Y: Youthful Z: Zero Gravity (Down to Earth)

  • on February 24, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    Well said Harsha. I really appreciate the way CA did to Ponting. I understand that few cricketers are heroes to the whole nation but we gotta realize that cricket created these heroes and these heroes should not kill the cricket by occupying the place of future heroes jus for oneself. Getting too emotional about one/two individual cricketers doesnt sound good. I hear people say that if this/that cricketer retires I will stop watching cricket, I find it emotional craziness. When my hero is asked to leave (here its not straightforward), I jus salute him and thank him for putting up a good show for us.

  • on February 24, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar knows the game of Cricket better than any other man on the planet. Perhaps he also know his abilities and commitment towards game and life. If he is not making runs fast from some innings, we cannot say him as Time to Go. As he is currently going through rough phase and hike of 100th century, we should allow some time to see his bat speak. We have seen, he does better shuts mouths of critics who questions on his abilities by his wide BAT.

  • on February 24, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    I totally agree with another brilliant article from Mr. Bhogle.. the question hence is.. India needs to put their best 11 out there.. is Tendulkar (not considering his overflowing record books) one of the best 11 that we can put out there? To my mind, unfortunately he still is. Not because I am a fan. Not because I want to see no. 100. But because I want to see a person who is willing to give his blood during training and during the match, to win.

  • on February 24, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    After a long time i read something from Harsha Bhogle which is so incomplete and at best a uni-dimensional assessment of the subject. While there is no denying the finance which runs the sport now, it must be borne that the money involved is incidental and does not drive the game from the spectator's perspective. And that is at the core of argument why a Shane Warne or a Sachin Tendulkar has earned the right to chose their retirement. Yes as a critique of pure reason, one can argue that how much longer can a player play on is not a player's prerogative but there is a practical reason of who can assess a player's drive.Is the sport at the highest level not as much about fading away and fighting to survive as about trying to break into the scene and struggling to hold on till you cement your place. And if it is, who should take a call on this judgement? Aint that a player's prerogative to decide his availability. You can always drop him on merit and there is nothing unsporting in that.

  • yogi.s on February 24, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    Excellent piece harsha! I too strongly believe a player should never be the one taking the retirement call for all the reasons that you have mentioned. Good point about the predicament the selectors face but I feel irrespective of what decisions the selection panel takes at the end of this series they should all be sacked for the poor way in which they handled selection matters both in eng and even now. They simply have not shown any vision or conviction as to what direction they want the team to be heading. As long as India played well they were safe because they did not have to make any tough calls as the team more or less picked itself but now when things have started to go wrong they have simply failed to take any decision, good or bad. So they simply do not deserve to continue.

  • rohan024 on February 24, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    after years, i can feel the same spunk in Harsha's writing, which he abandoned few years back to become more like a spokesman of Indian cricketers. Always writing nice good things about them and eulogizing them to no limit. Good work Harsha.

  • krish79 on February 24, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    Terrificly written ! awesomely article .If only we had men with such thinking in the BCCI . But what surprises me : Harsha once a promient voice in pro sachin camp is starting to walk away from it !

  • StanfordT20 on February 24, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Woefully long article to make an insignificant point. Basically, Harsha, oh one of not wanting to jeopardize your career by taking a stance, there are some major dark issues hanging over the country's cricketing fraternity that has left us in this situation. In which other country would you find:

    (i) Nominations by the cricket board of two mandatory paid commentators to sit on every indian match palyed. Gavaskar and Shastri are paid some 7 crores in total to chant bcci bhajans ? Shame on them both.

    (ii) An IPL franchisee owner also purporting to deliver independently the highest role in Indian cricket's administration, the BCCI? Would you ever find kerry packer running the ACB?

    Please please cricinfo give us articles that highlight real issues with a nation's passion - of the likes of Ramachandra Guha's brilliant piece on the indifferent treatment of a former great Dilip Balwant Vengsarkar by folk like gavaskar and shastri (in the Mumbai CA elections).

  • ArjunVS on February 24, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Why cloak your entire article in innuendo and double speak Harsha ? Why not have the courage and convictions, and say what you really wish to say ?

  • BalkrishnaSapre on February 24, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Very well written Harsha.. fans can become sentimental.. with players/records.. selectors should not be .. like tendulkar need 2 more ODI hundres for 50 hundreds.. few more runs in test to keep safe distance from Kallis, Ponting to catch up.. indian seniors have crossed limit by losing 8 tests on the trot.. and selectors have played major part in it... there were few excuses in england.. gambhir / sehwag/ zaheer injuries.. but not a single excuse in australia.. still none of sachin, sehwag, dravid, laxman been touched..there were experiments done with other slot of batsman.. yuvi, raina, kohli..

  • ravis123 on February 24, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Harsha, I am so glad that you have not exercised 'partiality' in the interest of the game. I am happy to hear your uncluttered thinking on some of the stalwarts who have served Indian cricket for long and need to vacate their place for someone more fit and young plus talented. I am glad that you do are not part of the Mumbai-brigade, who want the sons of their soils to play on an on for ever, untill the younger talents also reach the age of 30 and are considered 'senior' cricketers...Indian selectors are already guilty of not giving places to some very talented young legs, who have now become old and are 'veterans' in domestic cricket at 29-30...Our selectors have not only the fear of public wrath, but also the inherent uneasiness about how these powerful and persons with clout, will hit them back.. It takes on e brave person to take the call, irrespective of how BIG a cricketer may be - one who does not care for the consequences, but has in mind ONLY India's interests and its progress

  • on February 24, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Comeon Harsha, man up and say its time for Sachin to go !! Why play around with words and sidestep the main issue..

  • on February 24, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    If nobody can earn the right to decide when to go, please tell me who will decide when a 'Commentator, television presenter and writer' should retire? It should certainly not be the 'Commentator, television presenter and writer' himself.

    Once a great commentator, observer and now just a 'deadline writer'.

    I am sure these thoughts would have crossed Harsha's mind as well. "Am I going to buy my own tickets?", "Stand in a queue to check in? "Hope the hard time I gave cricinfo before signing their contract now remembers me. Damn, I'll write another article!"

    May be he shouldn't have gone for his hair transplant, the hormones are acting all weird.

    See a doctor Harsha, you are showing symptoms of menopause!

  • on February 24, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    A lot of experts have been saying recently that players like Dravid, Sachin etc. had earned the right to decide when they retire. That the selectors could drop them but shdn't force them to retire. And I was a little confused b'coz in their cases, once dropped they can't hope to make a comeback. So being dropped would definitely force them to retire. And also, being a team game, the interests of the team should be paramount rather than being sentimental about the legends who are clearly on the wane. And that's the job selectors are getting paid to do, irrespective of whether they are dealing with a newcomer or a legend. But the fact is that the selectors don't want to make the tough calls and would rather that the players quit on their own or that the the decision is left to the next selection committee, which is really sad! Indian cricket has already suffered enough because of the BCCI's lack of interest in improving Indian cricket. Let's hope this isn't another example of that.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 24, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    In a team sport it is absolutely critical that the decision to play rests with selectors but not the players. Can't agree more. The likes of Vengsarkar, Gavaskar and others who say that so and so player has earned the right to decide are just unreal and deluded to the point that they are forgetting that they are talking about a team sport. Individual sports like Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton so and so forth - yes Sirs, the player can decide when he wants to go. But here, in a team sport, if the player doesn't know when to go, the selectors must make the call and drop the player(s) in question. If the player then wants to retire, the question that he will be sadly facing is - retire from what?

  • KiwiRocker- on February 24, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    I fully agree with your Harsha. It is an honest article with no bias for once. No one is bigger than the game itself however sadly, this tradition of chosing the right timing does not exist overall in India and to some extent in Pak. One good example was Imran Khan who retired soon after Pakistan's historical win in 1992 WC. Now Tendulya's WC win in India might have been due to 65M grounds, dodgy DRS decisions, small grounds and so on but he had a perfact oppertunity to hang his boots.I personally do not think that Tendulya should even continue playing test matches as Dhoni is right that it is costing runs to India in the field. However, the flip side is that India's younger players have failed miserably( Raina, rohit, Ishant etc). I hear a lot of noise about R.ashwin but he has proved to be an orindary bowler.Teams like England, Pak, SL, SA are building for 2015 and India should do the same.Tendulya, Sehwag and Gambhir should be dropped but where are the replacements? Thats the issue!

  • enthusiastic on February 24, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    Excellent article as always. It's not an easy decision for any successful individual by any stretch of imagination. Its obvious if you are tasting success you naturally tend to prolong your career. However it's important to retire with grace and dignity before you are asked to leave. It's time for some of our senior cricketers to sit down and think long and hard for the sake of Indian Cricket, to retain individual dignity and for the game itself. We can never take (tough, rude, proactive) decisions in India like they do in Australia but I hope some of our greats do the country a favour.

  • msa20 on February 24, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    I think it is still a players call when to retire from international stage.But the selectors job is to pick the best players to play for.So now Pointing has been axed from the one day team is the right decision but a selector cannot force anyone to retire,but they have the powers to drop a player from the team.But Indian selectors do not have the guts to drop sachin from any form of cricket.If tomorrow Sachin comes out and says he wants to play T20 for India they will have to accept it because thats how they have been functioning all along giving players more powers than they should have.

  • on February 24, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    Well said Harsha!! Understandably you made sure there are no remarks against the batting legend nor their any against the Cash rich body.

  • on February 24, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    They have a right as to when to retire, but that does not mean that the selectors should wait for them. if they are not performing they have to be dropped.

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  • on February 24, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    They have a right as to when to retire, but that does not mean that the selectors should wait for them. if they are not performing they have to be dropped.

  • on February 24, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    Well said Harsha!! Understandably you made sure there are no remarks against the batting legend nor their any against the Cash rich body.

  • msa20 on February 24, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    I think it is still a players call when to retire from international stage.But the selectors job is to pick the best players to play for.So now Pointing has been axed from the one day team is the right decision but a selector cannot force anyone to retire,but they have the powers to drop a player from the team.But Indian selectors do not have the guts to drop sachin from any form of cricket.If tomorrow Sachin comes out and says he wants to play T20 for India they will have to accept it because thats how they have been functioning all along giving players more powers than they should have.

  • enthusiastic on February 24, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    Excellent article as always. It's not an easy decision for any successful individual by any stretch of imagination. Its obvious if you are tasting success you naturally tend to prolong your career. However it's important to retire with grace and dignity before you are asked to leave. It's time for some of our senior cricketers to sit down and think long and hard for the sake of Indian Cricket, to retain individual dignity and for the game itself. We can never take (tough, rude, proactive) decisions in India like they do in Australia but I hope some of our greats do the country a favour.

  • KiwiRocker- on February 24, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    I fully agree with your Harsha. It is an honest article with no bias for once. No one is bigger than the game itself however sadly, this tradition of chosing the right timing does not exist overall in India and to some extent in Pak. One good example was Imran Khan who retired soon after Pakistan's historical win in 1992 WC. Now Tendulya's WC win in India might have been due to 65M grounds, dodgy DRS decisions, small grounds and so on but he had a perfact oppertunity to hang his boots.I personally do not think that Tendulya should even continue playing test matches as Dhoni is right that it is costing runs to India in the field. However, the flip side is that India's younger players have failed miserably( Raina, rohit, Ishant etc). I hear a lot of noise about R.ashwin but he has proved to be an orindary bowler.Teams like England, Pak, SL, SA are building for 2015 and India should do the same.Tendulya, Sehwag and Gambhir should be dropped but where are the replacements? Thats the issue!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 24, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    In a team sport it is absolutely critical that the decision to play rests with selectors but not the players. Can't agree more. The likes of Vengsarkar, Gavaskar and others who say that so and so player has earned the right to decide are just unreal and deluded to the point that they are forgetting that they are talking about a team sport. Individual sports like Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton so and so forth - yes Sirs, the player can decide when he wants to go. But here, in a team sport, if the player doesn't know when to go, the selectors must make the call and drop the player(s) in question. If the player then wants to retire, the question that he will be sadly facing is - retire from what?

  • on February 24, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    A lot of experts have been saying recently that players like Dravid, Sachin etc. had earned the right to decide when they retire. That the selectors could drop them but shdn't force them to retire. And I was a little confused b'coz in their cases, once dropped they can't hope to make a comeback. So being dropped would definitely force them to retire. And also, being a team game, the interests of the team should be paramount rather than being sentimental about the legends who are clearly on the wane. And that's the job selectors are getting paid to do, irrespective of whether they are dealing with a newcomer or a legend. But the fact is that the selectors don't want to make the tough calls and would rather that the players quit on their own or that the the decision is left to the next selection committee, which is really sad! Indian cricket has already suffered enough because of the BCCI's lack of interest in improving Indian cricket. Let's hope this isn't another example of that.

  • on February 24, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    If nobody can earn the right to decide when to go, please tell me who will decide when a 'Commentator, television presenter and writer' should retire? It should certainly not be the 'Commentator, television presenter and writer' himself.

    Once a great commentator, observer and now just a 'deadline writer'.

    I am sure these thoughts would have crossed Harsha's mind as well. "Am I going to buy my own tickets?", "Stand in a queue to check in? "Hope the hard time I gave cricinfo before signing their contract now remembers me. Damn, I'll write another article!"

    May be he shouldn't have gone for his hair transplant, the hormones are acting all weird.

    See a doctor Harsha, you are showing symptoms of menopause!

  • on February 24, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Comeon Harsha, man up and say its time for Sachin to go !! Why play around with words and sidestep the main issue..

  • ravis123 on February 24, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Harsha, I am so glad that you have not exercised 'partiality' in the interest of the game. I am happy to hear your uncluttered thinking on some of the stalwarts who have served Indian cricket for long and need to vacate their place for someone more fit and young plus talented. I am glad that you do are not part of the Mumbai-brigade, who want the sons of their soils to play on an on for ever, untill the younger talents also reach the age of 30 and are considered 'senior' cricketers...Indian selectors are already guilty of not giving places to some very talented young legs, who have now become old and are 'veterans' in domestic cricket at 29-30...Our selectors have not only the fear of public wrath, but also the inherent uneasiness about how these powerful and persons with clout, will hit them back.. It takes on e brave person to take the call, irrespective of how BIG a cricketer may be - one who does not care for the consequences, but has in mind ONLY India's interests and its progress