New Delhi: BCCI president N Srinivasan on Monday refused to be drawn into a debate on whether it was time for Sachin Tendulkar to call it quits from Test cricket, saying he is the "greatest batsman India has produced" and it won't be fair to the batsman to discuss about his retirement.
Asked whether the BCCI was giving special treatment to Tendulkar when compared to the likes of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, both of whom are presently out of the team due to non-performance, Srinivasan said, "I don't think any one us can talk about Sachin (Tendulkar). Sachin is probably the greatest cricketer India has ever produced. I don't think it is wise to sit and analyse his performance series wise," Srinivasan said.
Srinivasan's personal opinion was that Tendulkar has no comparison as he belongs to an altogether different league.
"Sachin is different from others. This is my personal view and I distinguish between selection matters and personal view," the BCCI chief said.
Srinivasan also refused to react to a column by renowned historian and cricket writer, Ramachandra Guha where he said that Tendulkar should have retired on a high, like Vijay Merchant, who quit international cricket after scoring a flawless century against England in 1951.
"It's not fair to be quizzed about Sachin because I am not a selector. I don't think we should be discussing this. It's not fair on Sachin to be discussed at all," the BCCI president said.
Tendulkar scored a solid 81 in the first Test in Chennai but failed to score any other big knock in India's historic 4-0 clean sweep against Australia in the four-match series.
Lauding India for their historic series victory over the Australians, Srinivasan said the Board "always had confidence in the team" despite its below-par performances in recent times.
"It is very nice to see India winning. We always had the confidence in the team. We understood that the team was going through a period of transition after some great stalwarts of Indian cricket chose to retire. But I think our faith in the team, the captain and the players have been justified. Cricket is a sport. In sport you cannot be winning all the time. I don't think that the Indian players want to lose. They also want to win, they fought hard. Sometimes they had bad luck, circumstances were against them. But overall, we should be proud of our cricketers," he said.
Srinivasan was particularly happy with the way India bounced back after the 1-2 defeat at the hands of England at home in the previous series, but said stern tests awaits Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men when they tour South Africa later this year.
"Against England I thought may be were little bit unlucky at times, but the team regrouped and performed extremely well against Australia. But we will have tests in South Africa and New Zealand towards the end of this year and early part of next year. But all of that is part of building of a team and the character of the players will also come out," he said.
Srinivasan also said that India was safe for Sri Lankan cricketers playing for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and feels that the Tamil Nadu government is capable to handle law and order situation in the state. Street protests have taken place in Tamil Nadu to denounce the Sri Lankan government for the killings of Tamil civilians in the war against the Tamil Tigers in the island country.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president hoped that the issue will be sorted out despite threats by Tamil activists to disrupt games involving Sri Lankan players.
"These are operational matters. I don't want to get into this issue. The IMG (event manager) and the IPL will look at it and decide. The government of Tamil Nadu is capable of handling law and order situation. I feel these issues will get sorted out," Srinivasan said.
Asked if any IPL teams have requested the BCCI to move matches out of Chennai, Srinivasan said: "I am not aware of it."
Eight of the nine IPL franchises have Sri Lankan players in their roster. Chennai, home to Super Kings, is scheduled to host 10 IPL matches this season. Akila Dananjaya and Nuwan Kulasekara will play for Chennai Super Kings; Jeevan Mendis and Mahela Jayawardene for Delhi Daredevils; Sachithra Senanayake plays for Kolkata Knight Riders; Lasith Malinga is with Mumbai Indians; Ajantha Mendis and Angelo Mathews are in Pune Warriors; Rajasthan Royals have Kusal Janith Perera; Royal Challengers have Muttiah Muralitharan and Tillakaratne Dilshan; and Sunrisers Hyderabad have Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera.
Jayawardene will be leading Daredevils and Sangakkara will be in charge of Sunrisers.
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