Mirpur, Mar 16: Despite rumours of quitting the game after scoring the elusive hundred centuries, India's iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar has no thoughts of retirement as he said going out on top is a "selfish thought".
Tendulkar reached the historic milestone of scoring hundred centuries against Bangladesh on Friday, ending a year-long drought to get to the historic feat which could remain unbeatable.
"My belief is that if I feel I can contribute, I am mentally there where I feel I am bringing value to the team then I should be playing. It's a very selfish thought that when you are at the top you should retire," Tendulkar told a news channel.
"When you are at the top, you should serve the nation. When I feel I am not in a frame of mind to contribute to nation, that's when I should retire not when somebody says. That's a selfish statement that one should retire on top," he explained.
The legendary batsman admitted it was to deal with hype around the 100 centuries and the fact that the wait lingered on only made it harder.
"(There is) more of a relief because my 99th hundred was against South Africa (during the World Cup) and after that media didn't speak about my 100th hundred while the World Cup was on," he recalled.
"I missed the West Indies tour and somehow there is speculation that I wanted to score the 100 in England at Lord's but a hundred doesn't come as and when you want", he said.
"For the last one year, there were patches I was batting reasonably ok and some failures also but the whole package put together, it was possibly the toughest of my life. Last one year has been really tough," Tendulkar said.
Reacting to the criticism against him that he was playing only for the record, Sachin said, "There are certain people I respect and there are certain people I don't respect. So I don't get affected by ones I don't respect, they have there opinions, it doesn't matter much they remain where they are."
"I don't bother much about them. Let them be where they are. I have got a bigger job of playing for India, score runs and win matches for India and I focus on that job instead of reacting to what they are saying," he retorted.
Tendulkar said he wasn't thinking about the milestone when the media created hype about the 100th ton, "Earlier the 100th 100 wasn't on my mind at all, I was so focused on the World Cup. My biggest dream was to lift the World Cup and there could be no greater satisfaction for a player than to bring the World Cup home. That was the most important moment of my life.
"I don't think anything gets bigger than that. Personal milestones are created along that path where you have got a bigger goal and the bigger goal was to play for nation," he asserted.
Tendulkar said he was glad the hype around the 100th ton had finally ended.
"I am feeling like plenty of weight has been taken off my shoulders. I said that I have lost 50 kg yesterday but looking back it feels a little more than that. I am glad that it's all done with now.
"There are moments when you question yourself, why is this happening because I was batting well. There was no specific reason to get out. It just happened. Sometimes you just have to accept what the almighty's plan is for you. I want to assure you that I won't stop trying my best," he said.