There might be intense speculation over Sachin Tendulkar's imminent retirement, but his one-time India teammate Ravi Shastri feels the champion batsman is not quitting anytime soon and is hopeful that he would play at Lord's ground next year when the national team visits England.
"He (Tendulkar) will not quit the game so soon as you all keep saying. He would continue to play and you will see him at Lord's next year too," said the 51-year-old Shastri to a question after he delivered the Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture at the Bombay Gymkhana here on Friday.
There have been suggestions that the 40-year-old Tendulkar, who is two shy of completing 200 Test appearances, would call it a day after reaching that landmark during the hastily arranged two-Test series against West Indies at home by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
But the words of Shastri, considered to be very close to Tendulkar, put to rest the speculation that the senior batsman, who has compiled an incredible 100 international centuries and has retired from ODIs, will quit the game altogether after playing his 200th Test at home.
The former all-rounder also put the blame on the communication gap between the respective cricket boards after the BCCI effectively cut short the Indian team's scheduled visit to South Africa later this year by pencilling in the short series at home against the West Indies.
"The problem was in communication but there will be some cricket played (by India) in South Africa," said the cricketer-turned-broadcaster, who was part of the triumphant Indian World Cup and World Championship winning squads in 1983 and 1985.
India were to tour South Africa from November, but with the series against the West Indies, comprising a warm-up three-day game followed by two Tests and three ODIs scheduled during that period, the team's visit to the rainbow nation is unlikely to begin until December.