Will he, won't he? After Loksatta, a Marathi daily, reported on Wednesday that Sachin Tendulkar was "set to retire from one-day cricket at Lord's” on Saturday, media circles here were abuzz. The report stated: “He (Tendulkar) had discussed his desire to retire from ODIs with his best friend around a month ago… But he felt that he should retire honourably, according to his status."
The paper expected Tendulkar to bid adieu to ODIs either after Lord's or after the home series against Pakistan later this year. Loksatta quoted an unnamed friend as saying that “even if his mind doesn't want to accept it, physically he is finding it harder to cope with ODIs".
What made the grapevine go slightly haywire was the fact that Tendulkar, in an interview to The Times, London, earlier this week, had talked in a similar vein — about how it was getting harder for his body to cope with the rigours of one-day cricket.
However, Rahul Dravid, asked this in the post-match press conference, said these reports were “completely false” and sources close to Tendulkar dismissed them too. Tendulkar himself said what he meant by those remarks was that it would be better if there were more than two days between one-dayers. Logically too, it makes no sense for Tendulkar to contemplate retirement at the moment, given that he is playing beautifully. Yet, star cricketers before him have retired at the top of their prowess.
Sources close to his sponsors say that they are extremely worried, given the money riding on the Tendulkar brand. Like everyone else though, they aren’t quite sure what’s happening.