Bangalore: Will Sachin Tendulkar be in the team for the 2015 World Cup? He will be 42 then, would have scored even more runs and even more centuries and even more 23s or 75s or 53s or whatever excites cricket statisticians and would have even fewer worlds to conquer than Alexander the Great. His fans would love him to play, the hosts can bank on another round of farewells and final appearances, and his commercial agents will cartwheel all the way to the bank.
But if he is not likely to play, then he has no business being in the Indian team to Sri Lanka this month. In some 36 years since the first tournament, the World Cup has become both a convenient starting point as well as the obvious finishing point for one-day cricket. The four-year cycle gives countries enough time to experiment, consolidate or revamp their teams. Tendulkar has already played six World Cups, and last year achieved his life's ambition of finishing on the winning side.
It would have been a good time to bid farewell to the shorter form of the game to focus on Test cricket and the lucrative IPL. Instead he has been allowed to pick and choose his matches, and the BCCI, so firm and so decisive when it comes to fringe players, is pusillanimity itself when dealing with the seniors.