NEW DELHI: Batting great Sachin Tendulkar turned 39 on Tuesday with an impassioned plea from his childhood coach to carry on playing cricket for India since he is "far from finished".
"All those murmurs about his retirement must stop, this is not the right time to go," said Ramakant Achrekar, 80, the man credited with the early training of the leading scorer in Test history.
"He must not retire now. He must go on playing and scoring runs for the country," the celebrated coach told the Hindustan Times.
Tendulkar made his international debut in 1989 and has played more Tests (188) and one-day internationals (463) than any player. He is the highest run-getter in both forms of the game and last month became the first batsman to complete 100 international centuries -- 51 in Tests and 49 in one-dayers.
But Tendulkar took more than a year to move from 99 to 100 hundreds -- against Bangladesh during the Asia Cup in Dhaka -- and many fans started to believe he needed to rethink his career, especially in one-dayers.
The Mumbai batsman has himself dismissed talk of retirement, saying it would be "selfish" for him to quit when he still had a lot to offer Indian cricket.