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Would have dropped Sachin if he had not retired: Sandeep Patil

Sachin Tendulkar in ODIs
Sachin Tendulkar plays a shot. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Having picked what will potentially be the final squad for the New Zealand series, Sandeep Patil has a very exciting career to look back on. With some of his teams having claimed important series wins, Patil, however, has finally come out with an interesting yet difficult decision he had to take during his time as a selector.

Speaking about the selection of Sachin Tendulkar in late 2012, Patil revealed that had the veteran batsman not announced his retirement from the sport, the selectors would have taken a unanimous decision to drop him from the side.

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“On December 12, 2012, we met Sachin and asked him about his future plans. He said he did not have retirement on his mind. But the selection committee had reached a consensus on Sachin… and had informed the board too about it. Perhaps Sachin understood what was coming because, at the time of the next meeting, Sachin called and said he was retiring (from ODIs). If he had not announced his decision to quit then, we would have definitely dropped him,” Patil made this stunning revelation.

Patil also went on to reveal the meeting the selectors and the legend had behind closed doors. “As long as I remember, it was December 12, 2012, Nagpur. Sachin got out and the selectors decided to meet him and ask him about his wish. I was the one who staged the meet, being the chairman of selectors, and it was pure to understand what was running through his mind.

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“It was a good thing to do. It did not happen in one day, one month or one year, it took two long years. Sachin retired in 2013. The meeting in Nagpur was just to ask his plans. Sachin wanted to concentrate more on Test cricket. So, it was decided that he would retire from One-day cricket. He called me and Sanjay Jagdale (then BCCI secretary). Then it was collectively decided that he would retire from ODIs.”

Patil also revealed the importance of pre-planning the captaincy baton. “We, of course, had a brief discussion about it on few occasions. We wanted to experiment by shifting the baton but we thought the time was not right as the World Cup was fast approaching. The new captain should be given some time to set things right. Keeping in mind the World Cup, we chose to go with Dhoni. I believe Virat got the captaincy at the right time and he can lead the team in shorter formats as well. The decision rests with the new selection committee,” Patil said.

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