Revealing that he wanted to retire at the top of his game, veteran batsman Virender Sehwag said on Wednesday Sachin Tendulkar stopped him from calling it quits after the swashbuckling opener was dropped from the Indian team in 2007.
Sehwag finally retired on his 37th birthday on October 20, more than two-and-a-half years after his last appearance for the national cricket team.
“Every player wants to retire at the top of his international game. Had I also retired while playing international cricket, I could have given a retirement speech. But fate had something else in store for me,” Sehwag told television news channel Zee News.
“I was planning to retire in 2007 when dropped from the team but Tendulkar stopped me from doing so,” he added.
Sehwag was dropped from the Indian squad following the second Test against Australia in March 2013 and could never find his way back into the team. The destructive opener said the selectors did not give him enough chances and dropped him after a few failures.
“The selectors did not ask me about my future plan before dropping me during Australia series in 2013. Had the selectors told me about their decision, I could have announced my retirement in that series,” the Najafgarh-born batsmen said.
Sehwag, however, may get a chance to give a retirement speech at Feroz Shah Kotla with the BCCI considering giving the senior batsman an official farewell during the fourth and final Test match between India and South Africa, scheduled to be held in New Delhi from December 3-7.
The ‘Sultan of Multan’, who acquired this sobriquet after hitting a triple ton against Pakistan in 2004, admitted his family was not happy with his retirement. “My both sons were upset,” he said.
Sehwag rated Anil Kumble as the best captain he played under. “He used to boost our confidence level,” he said.
About his future plans, Sehwag said: “I will always be connected with this game. If I get an offer from the BCCI or any commentary offers, I will consider it. My commentary would be straightforward like my batting.”
A veteran of 104 Tests and 251 One-Day Internationals, Sehwag, who scored 8,586 runs at an average of 47.35 in the longer version and 8,273 runs in the 50-over format, will still be seen captaining Haryana in Ranji Trophy and playing the Masters League involving former stars in the US. The league is being endorsed by Tendulkar and former Australian cricketer Shane Warne.