New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS): Legendary Pakistan captain Imran Khan has advised India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar not be at the mercy of the selectors and asked him to quit international cricket on a high.
Calls for 39-year-old Tendulkar's retirement from international cricket got stronger after the batting maestro was bowled thrice in a row during the recently concluded Test series against New Zealand.
Imran said if he was in Tendulkar's position he would have left cricket on a high. "Sachin is such a great player but I can only say if I were in his position, I would want to leave on a high and my greatest worry was that I should never be at the mercy of the selectors," Imran was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Asked if Tendulkar could ever be at the mercy of the selectors, Imran said: "No, but why put yourself in such a position. I mean Sachin, what a brilliant record he has. Would he not want to?"
Imran said what worries him is whether Tendulkar can perform to the best of his potential. "Again I put myself in that position, my greatest worry was that I would not be able to perform best to my abilities. So people will not remember me for when I was at the peak but when I was leaving my career," he said.
"I think Sachin is such a great player and people are emotionally attached. I can understand the Indian public, who has been watching him for 23 years. They can't imagine life without Sachin. But from Sachin's point of view, knowing that the kind of pride that he takes in his cricket. There must be a time when he should decide that this is the right time to leave," Imran added.
Imran said he retired after leading Pakistan to triumph in the 1992 World Cup because he wanted to go out at his peak. "The reason I retired was because I did not want to be at the mercy of the selectors. I wanted to go out at my peak. The only reason I kept playing was for the cancer hospital. The board of governance told me that if you get out of cricket you won't be able to collect money. That's the only reason for which I kept playing. Having seen those heights, I just did not want to be at the mercy of selectors or people saying it's the time you should leave," he said.
Imran said he has immense respect for Sunil Gavaskar because he left cricket when he was on peak. "That's why I respect Sunil Gavaskar. He left, he could have gone on. Sunil had one of the best defensive techniques I have seen in a batsman. Given that technique, he could have gone on but he left at the peak," he said.