Mumbai, Sep 24: Advising the media to stop harping constantly on the retirement plans of Sachin Tendulkar, Cricket Board's senior employee Prof. Ratnakar Shetty has said the senior India cricketer is the best person to decide on the matter.
"There have been so many debates on this. I have always said that no one else is better than him to talk about his retirement. So please stop worrying about that. He has been playing international cricket for the last 20-21 years," Shetty said on the sidelines of the event to announce the new season of Coca-Cola Cricket Cup U-16 on Monday (September 23).
"This debate has been going on since 2007....When will he retire, Sachin will retire or not... We don't have to discuss on this. We should respect the decision of such a great player. I think till the time he can play cricket and give his service to India, let us all enjoy that and let us not discuss on when he retires," said the BCCI general manager for game development.
Shetty said there was no truth in reports that chief selector Sandeep Patil had met Tendulkar and asked for his future plans after the BCCI pencilled in an unscheduled tour against the West Indies at home in November, comprising a two-Test series and a three-game ODI rubber.
"The chairman has disclosed that he hasn't spoken to Sachin in 10 months. If the media wants to speculate, then it is not important for the selector to issue any clarification. You (media) are doing your work and we do ours. Everytime, we cannot satisfy you. We cannot take your stories forward. This is how it will keep going on," he said.
Patil had denied speaking to Tendulkar and said, "It's always a pleasure to meet Sachin, but I have not met him for the last 10 months. I have not called him, neither has he called me. We have not discussed anything, It's all non-sense," when reacting to the report.
Queried if the 40-year old's reputation is prevailing over his form, Shetty said, "I don't think the media has got a right to discuss this. BCCI has got selectors to decide that. I don't think you are the right person to decide whether his status is taking over or he is greater than his form." National selector, Saba Karim, who was also present at the event as chief mentor, said grassroot cricket is very important.
"When the Indian team does well, many don't realise that it is the result of hard work that has taken place at the grassroot level with the youngsters. That is why there is a strong churning of players from the junior level to the senior level," the former India stumper said.
Asked how youngsters can cope up with the off-field distractions, Karim said, "The best tip is something I learnt from Sachin Tendulkar. The only advice he gave was don't chase money, chase your ambition. If you chase your ambition, you will always remain focused and no distraction can come your way whether it is fame or glamour. You remain unaffected by that."