Sachin Tendulkar could have been dropped from the Indian ODI team in 2012 had he not announced his retirement, former chief selector Sandeep Patil said on Wednesday.
"On 12 December, 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, he 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 revealed in an interview to news channel ABP News and Marathi channel ABP Majha.
Despite featuring in the Test squad regularly, Tendulkar wasn't playing in the 50-over format as consistently. Patil said the Master Blaster wanted to focus more on playing Tests, when questioned about his future.
"Sachin wanted to concentrate more on Test cricket. He called me and Sanjay Jagdale (the then BCCI secretary). Then it was collectively decided that he will retire from ODI’s," said Patil.
Tendulkar announced his ODI retirement on 23 December, 2012, and his last ODI was against Pakistan in Dhaka during the Asia Cup, where he made a half-century in India's victory. He played 463 ODIs, scored 18,426 runs and made 49 centuries — all three world records.
Patil refused to divulge whether Tendulkar had been forced to retire from Tests due to his poor form in the hurriedly-arranged West Indies tour in November 2013. "The only sad thing about being a selector is that you end up losing some of your friends. But that's part of the game. There are some matters between the selectors and BCCI which should remain confidential and cannot be revealed," Patil said.
Tendulkar's last match was at Wankhede Stadium on 14 November, 2013. He scored 74, helping India win by an innings and 126 runs. Tendulkar scored 15,921 runs, including 51 centuries in the record 200 Tests that he played.
In his last press conference as chief selector, Patil dropped a couple of other shockers, saying that there had been discussions on removing Mahendra Singh Dhoni from captaincy but his retirement from Tests was a "surprise" for them as well. Patil also clarified that there was no truth to the perception that Dhoni was instrumental in getting rid of some of the seniors in the Indian team, like Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh.
The BCCI on Wednesday named a new five-member selection committee, headed by former wicketkeeper-batsman MSK Prasad and comprising two members with no Test experience. Prasad, who was a part of the previous panel as the South Zone representative, replaced Patil as chairman of the selectors.