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Kapil Dev: 'Time up for Sachin Tendulkar'

India legend believes batting great should move on from the game

  • By Robin Chatterjee, Senior Associate Editor
  • Published: 13:39 March 26, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News
  • Legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev feels Sachin Tendulkar is past his best and should make way for a new crop of potential stars. The 54-year-old also speaks candidly about coming to terms with retirement from the game he loves.
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Dubai: Sporting legends are often afraid to talk about retirement, it is anathema. They will fight against their senses. They will push back the weariness and detachment from their souls, hustle and talk up their energy levels, summoning extra motivation to overwhelm the ghosts of age that creep up upon them. They look for avenues to take refuge in to justify their decision to quit, if and when they decide that the time is nigh.

It is a dilemma that, perhaps, Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar must be going through whenever he wakes up, or walks in to bat for India in the home stretch of his career.

“The important stage of Sachin’s career is over,” stated retired legend Kapil Dev to Gulf News. “He is now at the end of his career and one should appreciate that he’s not going to play the way he used to. Even if he scored three consecutive centuries my thoughts won’t change about him. One has to know that age is not just a number. It doesn’t matter how much passion you have, you cannot stay so long as to block the progress of others. This is not just about Sachin, but life in general.

“Sachin can be a great ambassador of the game like Sourav [Ganguly], [Anil] Kumble and [Rahul] Dravid. In order to get the best out of your retirement you can give back after it as well. So I say that Sachin must move on and beautiful things will happen to him. I wish him luck, comfort and happiness because he has given so much to us that it is unbelievable and unparalleled. But he must move on.”

“If you have other things going on in your life, then retirement is not so difficult,” reasoned Kapil. “The word retirement is a painful phrase. I used to feel it when people used to refer to me as ‘retired Kapil Dev’ at the age of 35.

“I tried to justify myself saying ‘look I am still young. Yes, I have retired from cricket’, but the word still hits you. It doesn’t give you a nice feeling because throughout your life you have been given to believe that retired people normally take a back seat. So I didn’t know how to adjust to that mindset. I was young enough to do anything in life after my retirement. Everybody has their own way of thinking.”

“There is another beautiful life waiting to happen,” he added. “So what you need to do is move on. You have to move on in life.”

It is a theory that could have been offered to so many Indian cricketers who saw the writing on the wall but refused to bid adieu to the game that defined their lives. Some had no idea of what life was like without it.

Dev believes the title of India’s “Cricketer of the Century”, bestowed upon him by Wisden in 2002, should be given to Tendulkar. “Absolutely and without any doubt to Sachin. There is no comparison with what he has done for Indian cricket, or even towards sport itself. I won’t even compare anybody with him.” he said.

Kapil Dev factfile

Full name: Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj

Date of birth: January 6, 1959 (age 54)

Place of birth: Chandigarh, Punjab, India

Playing career: All-rounder (right-handed bat, right arm fast medium bowler) 1975-1992

First class teams: Haryana, Worcestershire, Northamptonshire

Achievements: Captained India to 1983 World Cup win; named Wisden’s Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002; had a brief spell as India’s head coach in 1999/2000

Playing record

Tests: 131 matches, 5,248 runs (31.05 average), 434 wickets (29.64 average)

ODIs: 225 matches, 3,783 runs (23.79), 253 wickets (27.45)

First class: 275 matches, 11,356 runs (32.91), 835 wickets (27.09)

Comments (22)

  1. Added 15:10 March 27, 2013

    Mr.Kapil .. you mentioned other great players and you,.. whom have retired at the right time. U all knew when to retire, Similarly sachin knows when to retire there are many great players ,but he is the greatest, a greatest knows what to do at the right time, down the line in years time when we turn back and see,we will realise sachin as a legend who is from india..an inspiration to all the youth. Even now may be he is a teacher for the young guys in the team..which we may not be aware of.

    juda, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:20 March 27, 2013

    Well said Kapil, i guess even the BCCI could not make the statement, Sachin should retire and give way for the youngsters, its high time he does that.

    Grenville, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 14:16 March 27, 2013

    Yes please, enough of hiding behind Dhoni's success, sachin gave up captaincy to selfish his place in the team. Up to now in his career i dont think he has 10 match winning knocks other than 141 in sharjah. Virat already has more than 10 stunning innings. yuvi has won india single handedly, Kapil, kumble, saurau.. all of them done extra ordinary.

    munna, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:15 March 27, 2013

    I want to ask all the true fan of sachin and also to those who call him the God of cricket. Would you feel good if his reputation goes down.Since he chose not retire and continue to struggle to perform. Many people and legends like kapil would have to say the time for sachin is up. Yes i would also say so even if he its another 3 100s b'cos that will not be consistent performance. For people who call him the GOD of cricket. I want to ask Why is the GOD of cricket struggling to perform. I pity them.... He played good and the fact is in this world every thing ends and so is his career. He may be good batsman but not wise man to save his reputation. SO HE SHOULD LET IT GO NOW.

    Shabi, delhi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 14:03 March 27, 2013

    Mr.Kapil dev is right and correct person to force sachin to retire from cricket and give chance to youngster,but select do not have power to force him for retire,like they force to mr.dravid,laxman and ganguly,kumble and these cricketers are most better than him...they play for country not like sachin play for records always.kapil dev should be selector list then he have power to take decision to force him to retire otherwise not to select him for a team.. I SUPPORT WITH MR.KAPIL DEV ARTICLE...

    shaik nasir, dubai, India

  6. Added 13:45 March 27, 2013

    I agree with the author - better to go with respect and dignity than be asked to leave - especially for such a great athlete.

    Ron, Chennai, India

  7. Added 13:04 March 27, 2013

    He should retire and start coaching young and potential batsmen.

    Shaukat H.Khan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:00 March 27, 2013

    With no offence to the comments by Sir Kapil Dev , I may ask, who would we have as a batsman on the pacy SA pitches and windy swings in New Zeland- Sewagh and Gambir( Provided they come back to form)? Re try - Raina, Rohit and Yuvraj for the 100th time? Leave it to the in experienced pujara , and Dhavan and Vijay? OR call back - Badrinath , Dinesh Kartik, Partiv PAtel? Sachin Has taken a decisions to quit ODI to devote more time in Tests and thereby build a better Indian Team. He has a minimum 3 years left in him.

    Bijith, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 12:42 March 27, 2013

    I do not agree with kapil dev. Sachin is a diamond for world cricket as well the God of indian cricket & BCCI, Tendulkar didn't ask permission from anybody to start his cricket career, Tendulkar knew everything very well than anybody else who comments on his game, when he need to retire or play, i will request to everybody to stop talking or giving senseless comments, let him do his job, Tendulkar’s blood is cricket, he loves to play cricket than anything else ... he is miracle

    Surendra Sharma, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 12:25 March 27, 2013

    Sachin must retire now. It is for his own reputation . If he is wise,he must chose the right time for retirement , that is now. His retirement date from Oneday could not be remembered , it must have been , if he had retired after world cup win. He has made lots of personal achievements at one point of time, but chance should be given to other young performers. He should consider that and gracefully take retirement.

    Kamal, abudhabi, United Arab Emirates

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