New Delhi, Apr 20: He may be on the cusp of his 40th birthday but Sachin Tendulkar is still very much "needed" by Indian cricket, according to BCCI president N Srinivasan, who firmly believes the senior batsman will time his exit from Test cricket to perfection.
"He is one who will not hold on to his place if he believes that he doesn't have much to offer to the country," Srinivasan said.
"I have absolutely no doubt that Indian cricket needs him -- and will leave the final call (on when he should quit) to him," the Cricket Board chief was quoted as saying by 'Outlook' magazine that has brought out a special edition to commemorate Tendulkar's 40th birthday.
The batsman, who has not been in the best of form for a while now, turns 40 on April 24. "If he feels he has cricket left in him, we should respect that and leave him alone. There is no doubt he is trying his level best," Srinivasan said.
As far as the perfect role model in Indian cricket is concerned, like many others, Tendulkar is the man for Srinivasan. "As a role model and an Indian cricketing icon, Tendulkar has no parallel. "He gets the same standing ovation in every cricket-playing country and is one player who the crowds love to watch. I am actually glad that Sachin plays for India."
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni might have been the ad world's favourite boy for the last few years, but Srinivasan has no doubt Tendulkar remains Indian cricket's biggest brand.
"Without question, he is Indian cricket's biggest brand. He has been around for 24 years and has been consistent right through. "Consistency, I'd say, is the hallmark of the Sachin brand. He is a very modest individual who has achieved the most impossible of feats."