New Delhi: Just two matches shy of playing his 200th Test, Sachin Tendulkar's future on Wednesday became a subject of intense speculation after a media report claimed that he has been told to consider his career plans after the milestone game, forcing the BCCI to issue a denial.
The 40-year-old champion batsman was reportedly told by chief selector Sandeep Patil that after the 200th Test, which would be completed during the two-match series against the West Indies in November, his place in the team would depend on the runs that he scores.
However, Patil himself refuted it, saying that he had not met Tendulkar for 10 months, while the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) was also quick to deny such a development.
"There is no truth in the report. We have spoken to both Tendulkar and Patil, no such conversation ever took place. It is for the player to take a call on retirement, and the BCCI has always followed this policy", senior board official Rajeev Shukla said.
"It's always a pleasure to meet Sachin, but I have not met him for the last 10 months. I have not called him, neither has he called me. We have not discussed anything, It's all nonsense," Patil said.
The report, quoting an unnamed selector, had stated that Patil met Tendulkar after the BCCI penciled in an unscheduled tour against the West Indies at home comprising a two-Test series and a three-game ODI rubber.
It also hinted that Patil had told Tendulkar that the selectors will decide the batsman's future after his much-awaited 200th Test appearance.
"We have got a bunch of youngsters and they all have been performing well. No one can question Sachin Tendulkar. What he has done is remarkable but we also have to look at the future.
"We have several talented players waiting to get one chance to prove themselves," the selector said, according to the report.
Tendulkar has appeared in 198 Tests, the most by any cricketer in the history of the game, notching up a mind-boggling 51 hundreds in the five-day format of the game.
Besides, he has also raked up 49 ODI centuries, a format from which he has already retired, to make it a century of international hundreds. The batting veteran, who has scored close to 16,000 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.