On Monday night, Indian cricket community erupted in tears as it was suddenly reported that the nation’s beloved son Virender Sehwag had announced his retirement from International Cricket.
When all this started, Sehwag was at Dubai attending the launch of Masters Champions League (MCL) 20-20 along with the likes of Graeme Smith, Michael Vaughan, Brian Lara and Azhar Mahmood. MCL is another tale of commercialization of cricket, ironically with its governing body headed by Graham Gooch and Allan Border – two stalwarts of the classical Ashes rivalry.
MCL rules clearly dictate that participating players need to be retired in order to feature in this exciting extravaganza, scheduled to be held in Feburary 2016 within United Arab Emirates. So, if Sehwag turns out for this tournament, as portrayed in the home page of the event’s official website, he shall have to bid adieu to international attachments.
Everything boils down to a situation where a cancer patient fights in his last stage of ailment and the doctors have given the dates already. That’s where Virender Sehwag’s long illustrious career stands right now. But, are all the hopes dead already?
When asked about the retirement at MCA Gala, the modern day Viv Richards answered it in style, “If I am not retired, I will not play. I will go back to India and if I retire, I will announce it there. So it isn’t official yet, people.”
But, as it happens always, one thing led to another and the social media buzz wrote him off from the bigger scene sooner than he intended. Even, MCL 20-20 official facebook page put on a status informing people about the big call from the Haryana captain.
Haryana Cricket Association secretary Anirudh Chaudhary, who also happens to be the treasurer of BCCI, clarified the matters to a leading Indian newspaper by claiming that: “I can confirm to you that, as of now, he has not announced his retirement. Either HCA or BCCI does not have any news of that.” Sehwag currently holds a contract from HCA to play the domestic season as a “Mentor” cum Player for the team and he has responded well with his duty by scoring two half centuries in first two matches of the season.
The Veterans’ league in Dubai will be played between 4th and 20th February, 2016, as confirmed by the organisers. On the other hand, Ranji Trophy knockout stages begin on 3rd February, 2016. A team always hopes for the big and if Haryana reach more advance stages of the domestic competition, then Sehwag will have to choose one or the other. Given his character, it’s no guess that he is more likely to value the Ranji Trophy commitments with Haryana.
Sehwag has always remained carefree and unpredictable through out his career and we will have to wait to see if the expected official announcement is coming soon or there’s a twist in the tale.