Indian cricket's former chief selector Sandeep Patil revealed that the selection committee had mulled dropping Sachin Tendulkar from the One Day International (ODI) squad in 2012.
Tendulkar, who was an integral part of India's limited overs plans over the years, announced his retirement from ODI cricket in 2012 before the start of a three-match home series against Pakistan. The World Cup winning Indian batsman's last 50-over match came during the 2012 Asia Cup against Misbah-ul-Haq-led Pakistan side, in which he scored his 96th ODI half-century.
The World Cup-winning right-hander ended his 23-year-long ODI career with a record 18,426 runs including 49 centuries. Tendulkar himself said that he decided to hang his boots as he had felt India needed to start preparations to defend their Cricket World Cup in 2015.
Patil revealed that the then selection committee met Tendulkar in 2012 and had discussed his future plans. He also said that the panel decided to drop the batting legend if he had decided to continue playing ODI cricket.
"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," Patil told ABP Majha, as quoted by the Times of India.
"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."
Meanwhile, Patil also said he was shocked when MS Dhoni decided to call it quits from Test cricket in the middle of a four-Test series, which India lost against Australia in 2014. The wicket-keeper batsman announced his decision soon after the third Test, which ended in a draw in Melbourne in December.
Dhoni had struggled with fitness issues and his efficiency as a Test captain was questioned after India lost 13 out of 22 overseas Test matches since 2011 under the 35-year-old.
"Things didn't move in our favour, and in that backdrop one of your senior players decided to hang his gloves. That was shocking, but in the end, it was his decision," Patil added.