Here’s Why Sachin Tendulkar Didn’t Play In 2007

Here’s Why Sachin Tendulkar Didn’t Play In 2007 World Cup: Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, India won the inaugural T20 World Cup way back in 2007, by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final in Johannesburg. It was really young team which Dhoni led to the podium with a number of players, including the captain himself, of age less than 28-30.

Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh were the senior-most members of the side who had made their international debuts about seven years and before. There were the new bloods – Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Joginder Sharma, Sreesanth. And a few in between them ones – Gautam Gambhir, RP Singh, Irfan Pathan – who had made their debuts not too long ago but were also not too experienced.

What younger fans of the current generation may also ponder upon is that a number of senior batters were missing from the squad – not least the greatest batsman of all, Sachin Tendulkar.

And if anyone thinks Tendulkar was out of form – just check out his numbers from 2008 to 2011, the fag end of his career when he attained another peak in his illustrious run at the top.

So why was Sachin Tendulkar not in the 2007 T20 World Cup team?

Not only Tendulkar, there were quite a few senior, well-established players missing. Even the captain Rahul Dravid didn’t take part in the tournament.

Here’s a little backstory: Earlier that year, India had a horrific time when they were eliminated in the Group Stage of the 2007 ODI World Cup in West Indies, failing to qualify for the Super Eights after losses to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round.

That had created a furor back home. The Indian batters – Tendulkar, Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, even Dhoni – all had performed disappointingly at that tournament resulting in India’s early exit.

And that’s when T20 was only new on the blocks with all the teams having played only a few matches prior to the 2007 T20 World Cup.

Tendulkar had, in fact, been part of India’s first-ever T20I – in 2006 vs South Africa and scored 10 runs. That remains his only T20I appearance as he opted out of the format in 2007 along with others as they felt this new format is for the youngsters to make their entry into international cricket while they focused on the other two formats.

This big news of their decision was made public when the selectors announced the 30 probables for the tournament in South Africa. Those 30 names didn’t include the ODI and Test captain Rahul Dravid, and Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

Dravid had called up the then chairman of selectors, Dilip Vengsarkar, to say that the three seniors had asked not to be considered for the tournament.

“I think that is the way forward for Indian cricket,” said Dravid, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. “We thought it is better if the younger guys played that tournament. Twenty20 is a game for youngsters. I think it was a proper decision and the way forward for Indian cricket.”

Sachin's promise to record-breaking Kohli |  cricket.com.au

Last year, former BCCI president Sharad Pawar revealed that Sachin Tendulkar had suggested MS Dhoni’s name for India’s T20I captaincy in 2007.

“I remember India had gone to England in 2007,” Pawar was quoted as saying by ANI. “At that time, Rahul Dravid was the captain. I was there in England then and Dravid came to meet me. He told me how he no longer wanted to lead India. He told me how the captaincy was affecting his batting. He told me that he should be relieved from the captaincy. I then asked Sachin Tendulkar to lead the side, but he refused the role.

“I told Sachin that if both of you and Dravid do not want to lead the side, how will we go about things? Then Sachin told me that we have one more player in the country who could lead the side and his name is none other than MS Dhoni. After that, we gave the leadership to Dhoni.”

A couple of years ago, the then-Indian team manager Lalchand Rajput revealed that it was on Dravid’s suggestion and persuasion that Tendulkar and Ganguly also opted out of the T20I format. But, he added, Sachin may have then rued not being part of a World Cup winning side.

“Yes, it is true (Dravid persuading Tendulkar and Ganguly not to play the 2007 T20 World Cup). Rahul Dravid was the captain in England and some players came directly from England to Johannesburg (for the T20 World Cup). They said let’s give an opportunity to the youngsters,” Rajput told Sportskeeda.

“But after winning the World Cup, they must have repented it because Sachin always kept on telling me that I am playing for so many years and I have still not won the World Cup,” he added.

Also Read: ICC T20 World Cup 2022 Schedule

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