Sachin Tendulkar, who called time on his illustrious career after the two-Test series against West Indies in India last year, revealed he was keen to go on the South African and New Zealand tours that followed. (Tendulkar's 'Playing It My Way' Breaks All Records)
The BCCI had invited the West Indies for a hastily arranged home series, and soon after Tendulkar announced his retirement from international cricket. The second and final match in his hometown marked the Little Master's 200th and farewell Test. (Tendulkar Maintains Tests Will Always be on Top)
Now, almost a year later, Tendulkar said he would have played on till the end of 2014 but decided against it during the course of a family discussion. (Tendulkar Urges Players to Follow His English Example)
"I was looking forward to the tours to South Africa in Dec 2013 and New Zealand in early 2014. But when the BCCI announced a two-Test series with the West Indies in Nov 2013, I had to rethink my plans. It was then - and I don't know exactly how and when - that the thought of retirement came to me," Tendulkar told the Times of India.
Tendulkar's decision to end a glittering 25-year-old career marked the end of an era, handing over the reins of the Indian team completely to Gen Next. There were tough international tours to follow but Tendulkar weighed his options and decided to bring the curtains down in front of eager and emotional home fans, who had thronged the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to watch the Master Blaster in action for one last time.
There were fitness issues to be considered as well. Tendulkar said he was not sure if he could fight off injuries for another 12 months. (Tendulkar Backs India to Defend World Cup)
"I started to wonder whether those two Tests against the West Indies should be my last. I remember discussing it with (wife) Anjali and (brother) Ajit. We were sitting on the first floor lounge of my house when I told them that I was thinking about retiring after the West Indies series. The second Test would be my 200th and I would not have another opportunity to retire on home soil till the end of 2014, and I wasn't sure if I could battle with injuries for that long. There was no point in dragging things out if my heart wasn't in it," Tendulkar told TOI.
Tendulkar did not disappoint a packed Wankhede, which also included his mother Rajni, wife and children Sara and Arjun. A stylish 118-ball 74 refreshed memories of exploits in the past. Tendulkar bowed out with an emotional speech after India had whitewashed the West Indies.
Tendulkar's 15921 Test runs and 51 hundreds were missed on the tours of South Africa and New Zealand, where India were subjected to defeats despite promising performances by some of the younger players.