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Present-day Bradman, godfather of cricket and record-breaking Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar retired from one-day cricket at last, ending a remarkable 23-year career abruptly. The move disappointed many of his fans as they always wanted that his mind-blowing career should not come to such a tragic end.

[caption id="attachment_123" align="alignright" width="300"]It would have been the best time had Tendulkar bade farewell to ODI cricket immediately after World Cup 2011 (Photo: AFP) It would have been the best time had Tendulkar bade farewell to ODI cricket immediately after World Cup 2011 (Photo: AFP)[/caption]

Nobody had imagined Tendulkar would take the extreme step. Though the demand for his retirement became intense in the aftermath of his ‘incomprehensible’ performances against New Zealand and England, no one was expecting that he announced retirement before a crucial series against the arch-rivals Pakistan.

Tendulkar was among those players of ‘Team India’ who proved impotent in the just-concluded series against England. Except for his 76-run knock in the first inning of Kolkata Test, he badly failed to perform. Leaving that inning aside, Tendulkar’s score in the previous nine Tests was this: 2, 5, 8, 8, 13, 27, 17 and 19. Fingers were started pointing at him after he failed to perform against New Zealand in home grounds. Even Sunil Gavaskar told Tendulkar straight off that he should retire.

After New Zealand, England toured India to rub salt into the wound. Where, on the one hand, the tour proved devastating for India, it also had bad effects for Tendulkar. Maybe it was the tour that made him to start pondering about the retirement.

The episode reached its nadir after Ahmedabad Test and voices like “When will you go, Sachin?” and “Give chance to young players” started rising in the media. The voices were not new. But this time around, they had certainly become deafening for Tendulkar, making him to reach one of the most important decisions of his life and he tendered his resignation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) before Pakistan’s tour to India.

The resignation brought a sense of relief for the board and its president, N Srinivasan, accepted it with acquiescence. A day after the development, the board announced Indian squad for the series against Pakistan. The connection between the events was unbearable for Tendulkar’s fans. Reports from unverified sources emerged that Tendulkar called Srinivasan before the squad’s selection and told him about his availability in the Pakistan-India series. But Srinivasan, according to the sources, advised him to focus on the matches against England and Australia. The board’s bold-as-brass decision made Tendulkar to leave the game. Although these reports are unconfirmed, they do rise a question that why Tendulkar didn’t choose series against Pakistan for his retirement.

There may be other reasons behind his retirement, but it’s a fact that Tendulkar had been passing through a very difficult phase of his career and was looking for the right time to bid adieu. The World Cup 2011 might be the best time for the decision. Had Tendulkar announced the decision then, he might have saved himself from the anticlimax.

It might be a bad luck of Tendulkar’s fans that they were deprived of bidding farewell to the batting great who played 463 matches during his career.

When India beat Pakistan by six wickets in the 5th match of the 2012 Asia Cup, nobody would have imagined it was Tendulkar’s last match. The “Little Master” scored 52 runs in the match.
Actually, it was a regrettable and a painful end of Tendulkar’s career. Now all eyes are on his Test carer and his fans are praying that when he departs from the longer format of the game, he would be in the prime of his career.
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