Sachin Tendulkar made 18,426 runs in 463 matches in his 23-year-old ODI cricket career, wearing the No. 10 ODI jersey. As millions of his fans associate the No 10 jersey with Sachin, the BCCI is considering retiring it, and leaving it in the memory of fans as being associated with the master blaster’s legend.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has sought the opinion of players after there was murmuring among fans during the India-Sri Lanka ODI series earlier this year, when Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur made his international debut with the No 10 on his back, a report in the Times of India said.
Fans unhappy that Sachin’s iconic jersey was passed on to another player lashed out at Indian cricket’s governing body and also the hapless Shardul Thakur himself. This got BCCI thinking, and they decided to consult Team India about whether to retire the No. 10 jersey.
But it’s not as easy as that. As per the guidelines of International Cricket Council (ICC), a jersey number cannot officially be retired, and no member associations can seek permission in this regard.
“As per the rules, BCCI would have to go to ICC for officially retiring a jersey. So, for the time being, the team members have been unofficially told that the No 10 jersey will not be worn during international fixtures,” a source close to the BCCI was quoted as saying by The Times of India report.
Tendulkar, in his illustrious ODI career, scored 49 tons and 96 fifties. He also became the first ever batsman to score a double-hundred in the 50-over format against South Africa at Gwalior in 2010. He had also claimed 154 wickets in equal number of games, with the best being 32/5 against Australia at Kochi in 1998. His last ODI was against Pakistan for Asia Cup 2012 in Bangladesh’s Mirpur Stadium, where he scored 52 in 48 deliveries. India won the match by six wickets, chasing a 330-run target. Virat Kohli dazzled spectators of the game with his 148-ball knock of 183 in that match.
Tendulkar preferred to wear the same No. 10 jersey in his solitary T20 match against South Africa in Johannesburg’s Wanderers, where he scored 10 runs and took one wicket while giving away 12 runs in 2.3 overs. India won the match by six wickets.