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Tendulkar’s decision was wrong: Hanif

New Delhi: In 1952, Hanif Mohammed was a 17-year-old boy when he made his Test debut for Pakistan against India at the Kotla. Today, at 78, widely known as the Little Master of Pakistan cricket, Hanif still has fond memories of the Delhi ground.

“After entering the ground today, I had a kind of feeling that I played here only yesterday,” said Hanif, who was at the Kotla to watch the Pakistan practice.

“In the Delhi match in 1952, India were led by Lala Amarnath He was a towering personality, a great player. Vinoo Mankad also took lots of wickets in that match. I scored 51 and 1 in that Test,” recounted Hanif, who went on to score close to 4,000 runs and 12 centuries in 55 Tests. It included a triple hundred (337) against mighty West Indies at Bridgetown.

Hanif, however, questioned the timing of Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from one-day Internationals, saying that something must have happened behind the scenes that prompted him to retire on the eve of an important series against Pakistan.

“Sachin’s retirement just a day before the commencement of Indo-Pak series surprised many, including me. It was a wrong decision. There was something which prompted him to announce his retirement from ODI cricket,” said Hanif.

He said that he would rate Sachin ahead of Australian batting legend Don Bradman due to the impact he had made on the game and the longevity of his career.

“Everyone in cricketing world takes the name of Don Bradman but Sachin has done much more. His contribution is enormous. In my opinion, there is no difference between Sachin and Bradman... In fact, I would like to say that Sachin is one step ahead of Bradman,” he said.

Hanif backed Mahendra Singh Dhoni saying the Indian captain had improved as a batsman and nothing in his captaincy had changed.

“Dhoni as a captain has done a lot for the Indian cricket. He has also improved as a batsman. There is nothing wrong in his captaincy. It’s a different thing that the team is losing the matches. Winning and losing is part of the game,” he said.