His retirement has been the subject of media speculation for a long time now, but Sachin Tendulkar continues to face it with the same grace every time the issue crops up.
On Thursday, he seemed to have finally decided that enough was enough. Asked about whether he felt any pressure whenever the topic came up, he said, “Your work is to ask questions, my job is to play cricket. I think I will leave you to do your job and I will stick to mine.”
Speculation on Tendulkar’s retirement has grown strong ever since he scored his 100th international century in March last year. A lean patch with the bat over the last few months has only added fuel to the fire. Almost everyone, including past greats, has been voicing different reasons for wanting Tendulkar — with 34,263 runs in 198 Tests and 463 ODIs — to quit.
“If I remember correctly, I was first asked about this (retirement) in 2005. People have their opinions. Everyone has an opinion, including those who have played cricket. Even those who have never played have their opinions. But all this is beyond my control. I try to focus only on things that are under my control,” Tendulkar said.
In a philosophical tone, he continued, “Aakhir karna khud hi hota hai. In the end, you have to trust your judgement and go out and do your job. I trust myself and go out to play. I don’t bother about opinions. Fortunately, my family does not discuss cricket or my retirement at home. They are not interested, they have a lot of other things to talk about!”
Tendulkar was speaking at a function to unveil Enewspaper of India, India’s first real-time digital newspaper. However, Tendulkar admitted he was not too much into the digital experience and hardly interacted on social media.
“My Twitter account was started only because there were a lot of statements being made on the platform by a lot of people — on my behalf, or even pretending to be me — when I did not even have a Twitter account. So, to put an end to all that, and to raise awareness and funds for cancer patients — a cause I am deeply involved with — I opened the account,” he said.