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'It's up to Sachin whether to retire now or not': Sourav Ganguly

Kolkata, Sep 18: Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said it is up to veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar to decide whether he wants to retire now or not.

“It’s up to him whether to retire now or not. If he wants to play then he must play,” Ganguly told media in Kolkata.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has denied reports that chief selector Sandeep Patil has told Tendulkar to consider his future after playing his 200th Test during the two-match series against the West Indies in November.

“This is completely a wrong and a baseless story. There has been no interaction between Sandeep Patil and Sachin Tendulkar. The story that after 200 tests he will retire is false. If any player retires from the game it is completely his decision. There can be no pressure on him either from the selectors or BCCI,” BCCI official Rajeev Shukla told media in New Delhi.

Cricketer-turned politician Kirti Azad today said that it is the player’s prerogative to decide about his retirement.

“Retirement will be completely his decision. He is a well-known player and it is inappropriate to talk anything about a player of so much caliber. But if the selectors feel that he has not been performing well then they may even drop him. But this call will be taken by the selectors. The selection of the team is made on the basis of both the form and performance of the player,” said Azad.

Tendulkar has appeared in 198 Tests, the most by any cricketer in the game''s history, notching up a mind-boggling 51 hundreds in the longest form of the game.

Besides he had also raked up 49 ODI centuries, a format from which he has already retired, to make it a century of international hundreds.

The 40-year-old batting great, who has scored close to 16000 runs in Tests, has had a lean run especially as per his standards over the last couple of years.

He has scored only two half centuries in the last 10 Test matches India have played at home, against New Zealand, England and Australia, and his last Test hundred (146) was in an away Test at Cape Town against South Africa in January, 2011, which has prompted questions on his future in some quarters.

He is currently gearing up to play in the Champions League T20 League for IPL holders Mumbai Indians with his first game scheduled against hosts Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur on September 21.

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