On Sunday (September 1), at the BCCI Working Committee meeting in Kolkata, it was announced that India will play a two-Test series against West Indies in November. This rubber is only for one man - Tendulkar.
The Master Blaster, currently sitting with 198 Test caps, was to play a world record 200th Test match on January 2, 2014 in South Africa, according to the original schedule. India were to play three Tests there. But now, BCCI has suddenly woken up to host the historic game in India. And in all probability it will be at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium - 40-year-old Tendulkar's home ground.
BCCI's decision is debatable. Why do you have to divert from ICC's FTP (Futures Tours Programme) to accommodate one player?
Agreed that when it comes to Tendulkar, rules don't apply. But why did BCCI take so long to draw up a plan for his milestone match. The board wants to cash in on his landmark.
Because of this "Special Sachin Series", Indian youngsters will be denied a chance to test themselves in tough South African conditions. BCCI has kept mum on that tour. We still do not know as to how many matches will India play there.
Also, there are speculations that Tendulkar will retire from international cricket after his 200th. Was this series specifically organised to give the Master a fitting farewell after 24 years in international cricket?
There are so many questions which the BCCI needs to answer. But we will never get to know about them. That is the way the Indian cricket board functions.
Though every cricketer likes to bid adieu to the game in front of his fans, the way BCCI has denied that opportunity for past greats is not right. Why was Rahul Dravid not given that honour to say goodbye to Test cricket? His last Test series was in Australia.
This is also an insult to Tendulkar. He should be left to play on irrespective of home or away Test. Why did he not get a farewell ODI match at home? Did BCCI not think of that then.
Tendulkar finished his ODI career in Bangladesh during Asia Cup in March, 2012. At the time though he had not announced his retirement from 50-over format but did so only in December. If BCCI was keen, they could have convinced Tendulkar to bow out with the home series against Pakistan in same month. That did not happen.
Money power has made BCCI the boss in world cricket. All other cricket boards are forced to bow to BCCI. So far there is no reaction from Cricket South Africa (CSA) on the changes to tour schedule. They will have to wait for BCCI to pick and choose how many matches to play and the dates.
It is a great moment in history that Tendulkar will reach 200 Tests. It needs to be celebrated by every cricket fan. But not the BCCI way.
BCCI has given way to a new controversy and Master is dragged into it.