Sir — People have been suggesting for quite some time that Sachin Tendulkar should retire since his performances on the field have not been up to the mark (“Selectors should talk to Sachin, feels Kapil”, Nov 28). It is true that Tendulkar is ageing. If his lacklustre performance on the field of late is because of his age, then he should retire gracefully. But if he is able to regain his form, he should continue playing. No one but him can decide whether he should retire or not.
There ought to be a fixed retirement age for cricketers. It is natural that older players will not have the same vigour and energy as the younger ones. Stringent rules pertaining to retirement will ensure that players bid adieu to the game in a dignified manner. Otherwise, those who refuse to call it a day might be subjected to the ignominy of being passed over by the selectors repeatedly, thereby forcing them into voluntary retirement. Having said that, Tendulkar will always remain an icon for young Indian cricketers, who can benefit immensely by learning his techniques.
Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi
Sir — The news reports, “Farewell, farewell but no welcome” (Nov 28) and “Selectors should talk to Sachin, feels Kapil”, seemed to talk about a similar problem, even though they dealt with completely different things. The former spoke of Chitra Narayanan, India’s ambassador to Switzerland since August 2008, who, in spite of having retired from the diplomatic service, is reluctant to move from her post. It seems to me that the Indian government and the selectors of the Indian cricket team are faced with the same dilemma. Both have to deal with people — Narayanan and Sachin Tendulkar, respectively — who are refusing to retire from their fields of work gracefully, unlike the former skipper of the Australian cricket team, Ricky Ponting, who has chosen to retire in a dignified manner.
Rupnarayan Bose, Calcutta
Sir — Cricket enthusiasts view Sachin Tendulkar as no less than a god. But the man who has a hundred international centuries to his credit has not scored a ton for a long time. His last century came against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in March. This is one of the longest phases that he has gone without scoring a century. To cricket lovers, it is not important that Tendulkar keeps scoring centuries. It is his poor form that has got people worried. Perhaps Tendulkar is too involved in the game to pay much heed to score cards. But shouldn’t he think about whether it is the right time for him to put the team’s interests first and quit, now that he doesn’t have the same reflexes he used to possess when he was young? He should not give people — among them the legendary Sunil Gavaskar whom Tendulkar greatly respects — the chance to say that the selectors ought to speak to him about his future. Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble retired at the right time. Because of Dravid’s timely exit, the Indian team found a new ‘Wall’ in the form of Cheteshwar Pujara. Tendulkar is the only one who can take a call on his cricketing future.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad
Sir — The murder of Abdul Hakim — the man who had spoken against khap panchayats for the popular television show, Satyamev Jayate — has brought the issue of honour killings into the limelight, once again. It has also highlighted the ineptitude of the law enforcement machinery in India. It is shameful that the Indian Penal Code has no provisions to deal with the specific issue of honour killings. The law commission of India stated earlier this year that the definition of ‘murder’ under Section 300 of the IPC would not be amended to include a separate clause on honour killings. It said that such a change might “create confusion and interpretational difficulties”. But calling an honour killing a murder has its problems. Most honour killings are committed by groups of people. It is hard to pin-point a culprit, or to secure evidence and eye-witnesses. In most cases, the couples who fear violence elope, and are then brought back home by the police. The latter fail to understand that the couples’ lives are put in danger as soon as they return to their families. Law enforcers must provide proper security to couples who return after having eloped. Honour killings could be averted if the rule of law were to become stricter.
Shayak Majumder, Calcutta