The news of Sachin Tendulkar's Rajya Sabha nomination is a development which appears to have taken even his close circle of friends by surprise. They had no inkling until Thursday morning when Tendulkar met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
The master batsman reportedly left Mohali on Wednesday night after the match against Kings XI to be in the Capital in the morning.
It is known that Tendulkar and Rahul Gandhi are good friends and have met on quite a few occasions, mostly without public knowledge.
Tendulkar is also known to enjoy a good rapport with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, but he always been reluctant to be associated with any political party. He had declined to campaign for childhood friend and former teammate Vinod Kambli when he contested the Maharashtra state elections.
However, his Rajya Sabha nomination is unlikely to have any bearing on his cricket career. He's convinced he can compete with the best at the highest level and playing and training remains his top priority. His decision to retire will depend on how he copes with the international grind.
Will Ganguly vacate seat?
Will cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar get seat No. 100 - symbolising the number of centuries he had scored - in Rajya Sabha?
Ashok Ganguly, a former chairman of Hindustan Lever Limited, who has been allocated seat number 100 says he will take the call when the issue arises.
This was in reaction to claim of quizmaster turned Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien that Ganguly was willing to vacate his seat for Tendulkar in the upper house. "What Derek is saying is rubbish," he told HT. Normally, seats for nominated members are designated but the house can resolve to allocate a specific seat.