Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar stated the reason for him opting out of June-July's three-Test series in the West Indies.
"I just want to spend some time with my family. I have not had time with my children. If I don't spend time with them now (during their school holidays), I would have to wait for one more year to do so. The kids (daughter Sara and son Arjun) are very thrilled because we hadn't discussed this with them, so they didn't know anything. It was a surprise for them," he said on Monday. (Also Read: Durani tells Sachin to go for 400 )
"I could make out that they wanted me to be with them because of their school holidays coinciding."
Tendulkar was rested for the one-day series against the West Indies, but when it came to the Test series, he requested the Board to leave him out. He will be available for the tour of England involving four Tests and a one-day series.
No one can stop the theories though. The batting genius laughed at one about him not going to the West Indies because he wants to get his 100th international century at Lord's, a venue that will host the 100th India vs England Test (July 21-25) and the 2000th game in the history of Test cricket. "How can you plan such things?" he asked.
Respected West Indies writer Fazeer Mohammed connected Tendulkar's Caribbean absence to the state of the game in the region. "But there was obviously something missing that made India's batting maestro determine that a month in the Caribbean and the prospect of a couple really big innings was worth passing up. Maybe it was the challenge. Maybe it was the sense of occasion. Maybe it was both.
"To put it bluntly: milking our bowlers on the way to a 100th senior international hundred in a near-empty stadium would have been the equivalent of Barcelona defeating Manchester United on a Sunday morning at the Aranjuez Savannah with ten men and two dogs in attendance and two vagrants sleeping at the back of the pavilion," Mohammed wrote in the Trinidad Express.
Earlier, Tendulkar stated: "As I have been playing continuous cricket over the last 10 months which started during the Sri Lankan series in July 2010, I had requested the Cricket Board to allow me to spend some quality time with the family as it coincides with my children's holidays and hence will not be available for the series in the West Indies. I would appreciate everyone's understanding of my decision and look forward to be back shortly post the series."
Post 2000, Tendulkar has been part of Test series wins in England, Pakistan and New Zealand but when it came to the 2005-06 Test series victory in the West Indies, he was injured. So, in all probability, he will end his career without experiencing a Test series triumph in the Caribbean.
That could be a regret, but only just, considering what he said a few years ago: "Getting married and having kids nothing matches that."