Friday, August 17, 2012

Dear VVS

Dear VVS,

I will write a longer letter later when I have more time.  I have a lot to say but this is not the time to say it.

I just heard that you were contemplating retirement because you were "visibly hurt by the comments that by continuing to play for India (you were) blocking the chances of youngsters".  The next two Tests against New Zealand may be the last I'll see from start to to end.

I don't blame you for this decision and, while it hurts to see you go like this, I am in favor of it.  I'd rather you leave on your terms than be ushered an unseemly exit by a bunch of folks who seem to make decisions, in the words of some, based on popularity rather than practicality.

But I DO have a request of you - please retire ONLY from international cricket.  Please continue to play at all first-class levels.  I'd like to see you turn out for the Ranji Trophy and, maybe, a stint for an English county (Lancashire would LOVE to have you back).  You have a lot of batting left based on the recent centuries you've scored in domestic matches in the last month and by playing at the Ranji level you can continue to give upcoming players a chance to see what a world-class player is all about.  Further, the bowling stocks are so lousy, this is probably your best shot at winning that elusive Ranji Trophy for Hyderabad.

You are contemplating retirement not because your love for the game has diminished but because you are seeing some ugly writing on the wall.  Please don't confuse one with the other.  Play on until you don't want to any more.  Otherwise you'll end up regretting hanging up your boots too soon like some of your peers.

Listen to your heart, not your head, on this one.  Please.  For cricket's sake.

Jaunty Q