New Delhi:It was Sachin Tendulkar's idea to make Mahendra Singh Dhoni captain of India'a one-day cricket team, BCCI President Sharad Pawar disclosed on Friday.
Pawar recalled how the Indian team plunged into a crisis in England last year with the then captain Rahul Dravid dropping first hints of his reluctance to lead the team.
"By that time, Rahul had told me he could not concentrate on his game and requested me to find someone else. Some of the selectors wanted Sachin to lead and I conveyed it to him. But Sachin said, 'please don't do this.' I asked then who should lead the side and he said 'give it to someone like Dhoni'.
"He said 'give Dhoni the opportunity. He has excellent relation with the teammates'. I told him I would not interfere but would definitely convey it to the selectors," the BCCI chief said.
Pawar also hailed Tendulkar and fellow senior players Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble for paving way for the youngsters in the Twenty20 team.
"I was in England when we were playing them. Sachin met me and suggested 'I know you don't interfere with the team selection but you please tell the selectors not to include players of my generation in the Twenty20 squad. He said 'my generation is not fit for Twenty20, so give opportunity to the youngsters."
"Now who would come and say 'don't induct us', when that means losing a few lakh rupees? I think we are fortunate to have players like Rahul, Sourav and Anil. Their commitment is unquestionable," Pawar said.
Pawar praised Dhoni's leadership qualities after the swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman led India to Twenty20 World Cup and the tri-series triumph in Australia.
"Dhoni as the captain has done extremely good. He can motivate and has a good equation with other players. He is also cool (under pressure)."
He, however, seemed more impressed by Test captain Anil Kumble, especially after the veteran spinner handled the Sydney racism row with great maturity.
"I would say Anil Kumble has been remarkable as captain. He is a good motivator and his behaviour was impeccable both on and off the field. In true sense of the term, he was an ambassador of the country and we are proud of the way he handled the entire issue," Pawar said.
During the racism row featuring Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh, Kumble's composure drew rich praise from all quarters.
Amid all the allegations and counter-allegations, Kumble's lone observation was that of the two teams fighting a no-holds-barred battle in the acrimonious Test, only one team played in the true spirit of the game.