Hanif questions timing of Tendulkar's retirement

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 05, 2013 13:40 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Former Pakistan batting great Hanif Mohammad Saturday questioned the timing of Sachin Tendulkar's retirement from One-day Internationals, saying that something must have happened behind the scenes that prompted him to retire so hastily.

Hanif expressed surprise at Tendulkar's retirement and said that the decision before a crucial series against Pakistan was "wrong".

"Sachin's retirement has affected the team badly. Sachin announcing his retirement just a day before the commencement of Indo-Pak series surprised many including me," said Hanif here with his grandson, Shehzad Ahmed who plays for the Pakistan International Airline (PIA), for the third and final ODI between India and Pakistan Sunday.

"It was a wrong decision. There was something which prompted him to announce his retirement from the ODI cricket but what were the circumstances we don't know. His decision was not at the correct time."

He said that he would rate Sachin ahead of Australian batting legend Don Bradman due to the impact he had made on the game and the longevity of his career.

"Sachin has served the cricket a lot. Everyone in cricketing world takes the name of Don Bradman but Sachin has done much more to the cricket. His contribution is enormous. In my opinion, there is no difference between Sachin and Bradman..In fact I would like to say that Sachin is one step ahead of Bradman," he said.

Pakistan's 'Little Master' lauded the the team for winning the three-match series and especially praised the bowlers for playing a starring role.

"It pleases me that Pakistan are doing well. The bowlers are in great from and it is a very good sign for Pakistan cricket," added the 78-year-old.

Hanif backed Mahendra Singh Dhoni saying that the Indian captain had improved as a batsman and nothing in his captaincy had changed.

"Dhoni as a captain has done a lot for the Indian cricket. He has also improved as a batsman. There is nothing wrong in his captaincy. It's a different thing that team is losing the matches. Winning and losing is part of the game," he said.

The 78-year-old also criticised the Indian Premier League (IPL) for affecting the quality of the game and said the busy schedule of the players was hampering their performance.

"In IPL also, you play 20 overs. It's like a practice game for you. The reason is a lot of cricket is being played these days.

"A human being is playing the game non-stop. If you use a machine non-stop, it is bound to get old and less efficient. Same is with the players. If they keep on playing continuously without any break, it will certainly affect their performances," he said.

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