New Delhi, Feb 26: Iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar has been heavily criticised by Indian cricket greats calling for his retirement after a ordinary performance in the ongoing tri series in Australia.
Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi said that Sachin Tendulkar should be given at least two months' time to decide on his future and if he does not take a decision before India's next series, the BCCI should take a call on his fate.
Bedi said that considering the contribution Tendulkar has made for the game in the country, he would prefer the senior batsman to decide when to retire.
"I know lot many people have said a lot many things about Tendulkar. We (media, former cricketers) are in fact pygmies as compared to a giant called Tendulkar. The only person who can sit in judgement of Tendulkar is Tendulkar himself whether he wants to carry on or quit.
"Having said that. I feel that the Board must have gumption to take on Tendulkar and Tendulkar himself should be able to decide on his future," said Bedi.
Asked whether the BCCI should tell Tendulkar it's time for his departure if he does not take a decision on his own, Bedi said, "Why not? I prefer Tendulkar taking his own decision but if he does not decide then the Board should decide. It's the Board's prerogative then.
"But my only apprehension is that whether the Board has that character to tell Tendulkar," he said.
Asked how much time Tendulkar should be given to decide on his future, Bedi said, "Let him come back from Australia and give him time. No series coming up some time and give him a month or two.
"Don't make him decide his future under pressure. We as a nation can't forget the contribution he has made. But before the next series he should make up his mind," Bedi said.
Bedi also felt that the current selectors, except for Mohinder Amarnath, do not have the guts and character to tell some senior players to quit following the Test debacle in Australia.
"You think the selectors have the guts to do it. No, they don't have. They are all zonal based selectors. Apart from Mohinder Amarnath I can't think the four others have got the capacity, acumen and guts to take that kind of decision. The selectors don't have the character to do something for the good of Indian cricket," he said.
Asked if the selectors were acting as dummies for some people behind the scene, Bedi said, "Some people are calling the shots for sure. I don't want to pull the ground like that but they (selectors) are listless for sure. The BCCI president is far too powerful."
Bedi felt that the Indian cricket team in Australia is in a "doghouse" and the responsibility for the mess lies on the incompetence of BCCI officials.
"The team is not in crisis now. They are in doghouse if I may say so. How to get out of it is what they should think about," he said.
"It's more than a calamity. It's a very depressing phase for Indian cricket. We were on top of world in Test and ODI. What have we done to stay there? India became far too complacent. I don't blame the players. It's the system which allows them to be complacent," he added.
Asked who should bear the responsibility for the present state of Indian cricket, Bedi said, "Primarily with the BCCI because they are the ones who call the shots. I don't see any player to be complacent on their own or coach should not have any say in real running of the game that is taking charge of exact performance on field.
"I am not exonerating players or coach or anybody. BCCI to my mind is far too laidback. How can an amateur set up run a professional game? How can you have honorary secretary, honorary treasurer and honorary president to look after professional players like Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid," Bedi said.
"The BCCI is unequipped and unaccountable and that is the worst part. For example we have an absolute incompetent media manager in Australia. The criteria for him to be sent as media manager to my mind was that he has collected lots of proxies for his masters at Punjab Cricket Association. Incompetent is not the word but he is the most inefficient to have come across," he added.
Asked if the incompetency and inefficiency is from top to bottom in BCCI hierarchy, Bedi said, "Absolutely I am not kidding. Any culture good or bad stems from top to downwards. Any outstanding human being or institution goes from bottom to top.
"They (BCCI) feel they have loads of money and they can do whatever they like. But unfortunately cricket performance on the field is not related to the bank balance you have."
On how much IPL has contributed to the current situation in Indian cricket, Bedi said, "How can a player representing the country make less money than one playing in IPL? There is something wrong. It's unreal. The money some boys are making is not being made by United States president. That has spoilt the attitude of the players. They don't want to play in Ranji and Duleep Trophy."
"Rajasthan won Ranji Trophy twice, including last year. Not one of them is capable of playing for India. Why? There is something wrong in domestic cricket in India.
"BCCI is spending money but there was no way to monitor it. Money has been misused," he said.