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Tendulkar ponders retirement but yet to fix date

MYT 9:45:02 PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar has admitted to having thoughts about retiring from the sport but would not confirm precisely when he plans to hang up his boots.

At 39, Tendulkar possesses bundles of batting records in international cricket and achieved his long-cherished dream of being part of a World Cup-winning team last year when India claimed the 50-over tournament in his home city Mumbai.

India's Sachin Tendulkar reacts as he walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed by New Zealand's Jeetan Patel during the fourth day of their second test cricket match in Bangalore, September 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash
India's Sachin Tendulkar reacts as he walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed by New Zealand's Jeetan Patel during the fourth day of their second test cricket match in Bangalore, September 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

His slowing reflexes and the manner of recent dismissals have convinced many observers that the "Little Master" should bring an end to a shining career that started with his 1989 debut in Pakistan.

"Of course I have been. I will be lying if I said I do not," Tendulkar told Times Now channel, when asked if he had started thinking about retirement after dodging the question for some time.

"I am 39 plus and it is not abnormal for me to think of it. It is natural.

"At that moment, I will go by what my heart says. At this moment, my heart says I am okay. But you will have to look at series by series," said Tendulkar, whose nearly 34,000 international runs put him well clear of any other batsman.

The first cricketer to have scored 100 international centuries, Tendulkar said slowing down was a rule of the nature.

"When I met (Australian batting great) Sir Don Bradman on his 90th birthday, he told me that it was natural for a batsman to change after he was 30," Tendulkar said, recalling his meeting with a player he is compared to more than a decade ago.

"I have played quite well for nine years after I turned 30. It is natural for any person to slow down as he grows older. I am a normal person as well, so why won't it happen to me?"

Tendulkar also dismissed media reports suggesting he was only continuing because of pressure from his sponsors as "irresponsible journalism".

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; Editing by John O'Brien)

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