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Bedi backs Tendulkar on retirement; slams critics

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Published: Friday, November 30, 2012, 17:40 [IST]
 
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Bedi defends Tendulkar, blasts critics

New Delhi, Nov 30: While a few former Indian cricketers have commented on Sachin Tendulkar's current form and urged him to talk to the selectors regarding his future, former India cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi denied to comment on the issue and said he cannot urge the veteran cricketer to quit.

"Who are we to ask Sachin to quit?" asked Bedi during a discussion with rediff.com on Thursday.

Since Sachin Tendulkar is struggling to score runs over the last one year, as his last century came against South Africa in Jan 2011, averaging just 22.83 in the calendar year having played 7 matches and scored 294 runs, critics have been forced to talk about his retirement.

Bedi, talking to rediff.com, said that the legendary cricketer who has completed 23 years of international cricket, should take a decision on his own and nobody can force him to do that and should not keeping in mind his contribution to the game.

"There are disgruntled elements in every sporting arena. All those who seek Sachin Tendulkar's retirement must first acknowledge his huge contribution to Indian cricket," Bedi said on Thursday.

"There was a time when we could guide him. He was like a child to me when he started playing. Today, I hold him in reverence. Even though I am in touch with him on phone, I have never ventured to give him a word of advise," he said.

Sachin Tendulkar, who has been bowled frequently in the last couple of matches, has been struggling against pacers and spinners as critics have started talking about age catching up with Sachin, hence finding fault with his footwork.

"Those who adored him for his cricketing feats at one stage are now finding fault with his foot work and the gap between bat and pad," said Bedi, who has represented India in 67 Tests and 10 ODIs with 266 and 7 wickets respectively.

Bedi also defended Sachin and blasted critics as he said people forget the veteran's contribution to the game and criticize him when he is undergoing a rough patch.

"When he was in peak form those who are trying to belittle the legend never realized that footwork came as part of one's calibre. I am too small a human being and cricketer to touch his glorious heights," the former left arm spinner said.

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