Colombo, Oct 1: Former Sri Lanka batsman Aravinda De Silva has come out in support of Sachin Tendulkar and he feels that the Indian batsman has the right to retire when he wants to and quitting should not depend on age.
De Silva, who played 93 Tests and 308 ODIs with 31 international centuries to his credit (20 in Tests and 11 in ODIs), said that Sachin Tendulkar should be "left alone" to take a call on his future.
"Retirement is an absolutely individual decision and Sachin has the right to decide about his future in international cricket. The decision does not depend on age but more on how your body responds to rigours of international cricket at that point of time," he said.
Just like Indian cricket which is now at the crossroads after retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, Sri Lanka will also experience the same in a couple of years as the likes of Mahela Jayawardene (35 plus) and Kumar Sangakkara (nearing 35th birthday) are not getting younger.
Asked about this, de Silva said, "Look, there is a lot of talent in Sri Lanka just like there is plenty of talent in India. After myself and Arjuna (Ranatunga) retired, Mahela and Kumar took up the mantle. Both are world class performers.
"Similarly, once they leave, there will be other talented players who will take up their place. Obviously, talent alone does not guarantee success at the international level as you need to be consistent too," he said.
De Silva explained why Ajantha Mendis has turned out into a lethal weapon in the Sri Lankan armoury.
"Ajantha is fresh in his mind after his comeback and that is the reason for his success. If one analyses Ajantha's international track record, only the Indians have been able to read him well. Any batsman who plays Ajantha for the first time will find him difficult to negotiate. That's why West Indies, who have not played against him struggled," de Silva reasoned.
So, which team will win the World Twenty20? Pat came the reply from de Silva, "Sri Lanka are one of the top contenders to win the title."