India's ageing five urged to make graceful exits

MUMBAI Wed Oct 1, 2008 9:21pm IST

Sachin Tendulkar (L), Rahul Dravid (C) and Saurav Ganguly train before the India-Bangladesh series in Kolkata in this May 2, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files

Sachin Tendulkar (L), Rahul Dravid (C) and Saurav Ganguly train before the India-Bangladesh series in Kolkata in this May 2, 2007 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Parth Sanyal/Files

Related Topics

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Five veteran Indian players have been told to plan their retirements by December to avoid unceremonious exits from the national team, Indian cricket board officials said on Wednesday.

"They have been given the next two home series to time a graceful exit following which they are open to the axe," one of the officials, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.

Cricket-mad India is fiercely debating whether it is time for their record-breaking batsmen Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Vangipurappu Laxman as well as spinner Anil Kumble, the test captain, all well into their 30s, to quit.

Ganguly, 36, India's most successful test skipper, was retained in the squad on Wednesday for the first two tests of this month's home series against Australia along with the other seniors, belying media predictions he could be dropped.

The official said the five players would have to decide on their futures by the end of the home series against Australia, starting on Oct. 9, followed by England.

They have played together for 12 years and have individually or collectively led India to most of their wins, although signs of decline are evident with only Tendulkar still part of the one-day set-up.


"It is not just Saurav," the official said. "Rahul, Laxman, Sachin and Anil have also been put on notice. They have six tests to decide and have been informed about it."

India play four tests against Australia and then two against England. They then tour Pakistan in January.

Indian media reported a 'voluntary retirement' plan had been drawn up by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

"The new president (Shashank Manohar) has made it amply clear to the seniors," one of the officials said.

Kumble, the third highest test wicket-taker, is the oldest at 37 and is being named captain on a series-by-series basis since Dravid abruptly resigned the job last year.

Tendulkar, 35, made his test debut in 1989 but has suffered a spate of wear and tear injuries while Laxman, the youngest, is 34.

The debate over their future has gathered pace due to good one-day performances by a younger set of players and follows a 2-1 test series defeat in Sri Lanka where the batsmen dubbed the "Fab Four" struggled for runs.

Tendulkar needs 77 runs to overtake West Indian Brian Lara as test cricket's highest run-getter and said last week he had no plans to slow down after achieving it.

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared


Pistorius Trial

Pistorius Trial

Grim-faced Pistorius faces sentencing in South African court.  Full Article 

Three Match ODI Series

ODI Series

De Villiers anchors S.Africa to comfortable win in New Zealand.  Full Article 

No Nonsense Win

No Nonsense Win

Ailing Nadal eases into Swiss Indoors second round.  Full Article 

Watson's Optimism

Watson's Optimism

Forgotten man Watson says best years ahead of him.  Full Article 

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

Williams tests injured knee by doing the splits.  Full Article 

Legal Battle

Legal Battle

McIlroy pulls out of China swing to focus on legal battle - media.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage