Virender Sehwag has said that he had wanted to retire several years ago, but it was Sachin Tendulkar who stopped him from calling it quits after he was dropped from the Indian team in 2007. Sehwag finally retired on his 37th birthday, on October 20, more than two-and-a-half years after his last appearance for the national team.
“Every player wants to retire at the top of his international game. Had I also retired while playing international cricket, I could have given a retirement speech,” Sehwag said. “But fate had something else in store for me.
“I was planning to retire in 2007, when dropped from the team, but Tendulkar stopped me from doing so.”
Sehwag missed out for most of 2007 before being recalled for India’s tour to Australia at the end of the year. His international career effectively ended after he was dropped from the Indian squad following the second Test against Australia in March 2013; he could never find his way back.
“The selectors did not ask me about my future plan before dropping me during Australia series in 2013,” he said. “Had the selectors told me about their decision, I could have announced my retirement in that series.”
Sehwag may get a chance to give a retirement speech at the Feroz Shah Kotla, with the BCCI mulling giving the senior batsman an official farewell during the fourth and final Test match between India and South Africa, scheduled to be held in the capital from December 3 to 7.
Sehwag rated Anil Kumble as the best captain he had played under: “Anil Kumble was the best captain I have played with. He used to boost our confidence level.”
About his future plans, he said, “I will always be connected with this game. If I get an offer from the BCCI or any commentary offers, I will consider it. My commentary would be straightforward like my batting.”
Sehwag will still be seen captaining Haryana in Ranji Trophy and playing the Cricket All-Stars – a T20 tournament involving former players in the USA, which is being organised by Tendulkar and Shane Warne.