London: Oct 11, 2013
Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott is glad that Sachin Tendulkar has decided to retire after his 200th Test as he feels the Indian veteran’s “legacy to cricket is more important than playing on for another year or two”.
“I am glad Sachin Tendulkar has announced he will retire after his 200th Test match because for the best part of 24 years he has been loved, adored and admired by millions,” Boycott wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph.
Tendulkar, who has been in international cricket for 24 years, will retire after playing his 200th Test, which will happen during the home series against the West Indies next month.
“His legacy to cricket is more important than playing on for another year or two. That would not have enhanced his reputation. It would only swell his bank balance and he does not need any more money because he is already one of the richest cricketers ever,” Boycott said.
“What he requires is to retain his reputation as one of the finest and greatest batsmen who has ever lived,” he added.
Boycott paid rich tribute to Tendulkar’s longevity and described him as a flawless player.
“Playing in 200 Test matches is a remarkable achievement. To be able to clock up that many matches a player needs exceptional ability to retain his form, which we all know can rise and fall. He must stay very fit, which becomes harder as you get older,” he said.
“On top of all that he must maintain his enjoyment of playing and that is not easy because you become jaded after years of travelling the world on overseas tours and playing in many different cities for Tests in India.
“After 10 or 12 years at the top most guys have had enough so to play for as long as Tendulkar you need to be single-minded and driven to the point of wanting to play cricket more than anything else in the world,” he added.
Boycott said Tendulkar excelled in every format that he played. “On top of 20 years of Test match cricket, Sachin has played in 463 one-day internationals. And remember the one-day game is more emotionally and physically draining because of its frenetic pace.
“This guy has kept all that together for nearly a quarter of a century. Why? Because he has no weaknesses. He has been the complete batsmen. He has a wonderful technique and an all-round game that can play spin, seam or fast bowling. He has been a model batsman with concentration and patience that any youngster should model themselves on,” he said.
But cricketer-turned-commentator also felt that Tendulkar’s magic was beginning to fade with age.
“Naturally he has declined as a player. That happens to everyone. We all start off as young men full of promise, talent and ambition. One day we get to the top of the mountain and stay there playing great innings,” he said.
“But age catches up with you… clever batsmen rely on years of experience to offset what mother nature has taken away. It is a gradual decline. But it can only go on so long.
The smart ones realise it is time to retire before slipping so far down as to embarrass your supporters,” he added.
“None of us want to leave the stage. The passion, the emotion and love of the game is in our blood. We want it to go on forever. But the trick is knowing when to go.”