I want to play as long as I can: Sachin

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/sachintendulkar1_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Sachin Tendulkar is not retiring from one-day cricket, although he has admitted that it is taking a toll on his body.

Updated: September 07, 2007 14:20 IST
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London, Mumbai:

Sachin Tendulkar is not retiring from one-day cricket, although he has admitted that it is taking a toll on his body.

"Even the thought of retirement has not crossed my mind. I am still enjoying the game very much and want to play as long as I can. I am batting brilliantly at the moment and cricket means a lot to me," said Tendulkar.

Media reports that the master blaster will quit playing one-dayers later this year to focus on preserving himself for Tests, have been denied by Tendulkar, his wife, the BCCI and the Indian captain Rahul Dravid.

Dravid set at rest speculation about it by telling a press conference at the end of the thrilling sixth one-dayer against England that the reports were "completely false".

Media reports have been claiming that Tendulkar might retire from the shorter version of the game after the seventh and final match of India's ongoing ODI series at Lord's on Saturday.

The reports also prompted BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty to get in touch with the player and the official said "I've spoken to him and he said the reports have no substance. It's media speculation."

Tendulkar's wife Anjali also clarified that had the reports been correct his family would have been in London.

Speaking to NDTV, Anjali Tendulkar said "rumours about Sachin's retirement are not true. He could retire tomorrow but we have to wait for him to say it, there's no point second guessing him. How can anyone else say he is retiring. If the Lord's game was his last then I would certainly have been in England."

"When you talk about a temple there has to be mention of God, just like when you talk of cricket you have to talk of Sachin Tendulkar.

"I think a lot of questions are being raised about his retirement plans, he will be the best person to answer this for sure. Even I heard about this in the media," said Indian vice-captain M S Dhoni who spoke exclusively to NDTV in London.

The speculation probably stemmed from an interview he gave to 'The Times' in London a few days ago. Sachin admitted that he had a problem with the tight schedule of one-dayers, something he reiterated while speaking to 'ESPN-STAR Sports' after the Oval one dayer.

"When you are travelling also in between, sometimes it is not enough. Specially when you had played a day-night match. when you get to the next place, there is literally one day in between where you go out practice and play a match.

"So it gets difficult on the body. Just one of those things on which you have to focus during the recovery sessions. Thats what we as a team are doing. But its not that easy," said Tendulkar.

However, given his current form, not just his fans but also his former teammates want Tendulkar to go ahead and even play the Twenty20 World Cup.

"Some day Sachin Tendulkar is not going to play for India and you will have to find players. But when he is in a form like this, I will still ask him to consider why not go to South Africa," said Ajay Jadeja.

Right now though what Tendulkar will be focusing on will be a series win at Lord's and to cap it with a hundred at the home of cricket will just be the icing on the cake. (With PTI inputs)

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