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“He is one of the best without any doubt and if I had to vote for the best sportsman of the century I would not hesitate for a second to give it to Sachin.” -Photo by AFP
“He is one of the best without any doubt and if I had to vote for the best sportsman of the century I would not hesitate for a second to give it to Sachin.” -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Famed Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram said on Thursday he hoped Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar would play his final Test farewell against Pakistan in Kolkata.

World record run-getter Tendulkar, 40, is set to achieve the unique record of playing his 200th Test later this year against the West Indies, who have agreed to tour India.

Speculation is rife that Tendulkar might retire from all cricket after that or sometime early next year.

Tendulkar, regarded as one of the best batsmen to play the game, has so far scored 15,837 runs with 51 hundreds in 198 Tests and 18,426 in 463 one-days with 49 centuries -- all world records.

But Wasim, who played in Tendulkar's debut Test in Karachi in 1989, said Tendulkar's farewell Test should be against Pakistan.

“I have created an ideal scenario for his farewell Test: India playing Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Kolkata with a passionate crowd and both nations at a standstill,” Wasim told AFP.

“It could be the best farewell Tendulkar can have,” he added.

The Indian media has speculated that India may cancel their tour to South Africa later this year and invite Pakistan for a short two-Test tour.

The nuclear rivals have not played a full series since 2007, but there were hints that full ties may revive after India invited Pakistan for a short limited over series last December.

Recent tensions on the de facto border in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, however, have left 11 people dead since early August and are likely to make the prospect of a tour more remote.

Pakistan's domestic team Faisalabad Wolves, due to play in India's Champions League Twenty20 that starts September 17, are still waiting for clearance from New Delhi.

Wasim said sport should be separated from politics.

“Cricket, as always, has the capacity to bring the people of both nations closer,” said Wasim, who led a Pakistan tour of India in 1999 despite extremist threats.

Wasim said Tendulkar was also revered in Pakistan.

“He is a role model,” said Wasim.

“He is one of the best without any doubt and if I had to vote for the best sportsman of the century I would not hesitate for a second to give it to Sachin.

“Having played with him for years and having been in touch even after my retirement I have found him a true role model,” he said.

“I hope relations improve and my wish come true is that India and Pakistan play a Test sooner than later.”

Comments (50) Closed

maazoor Sep 12, 2013 07:24pm

Wasim Bhai First of all congratulations (wedding). and it will be a great idea honoring Sachin Bhai.

PakFan Sep 12, 2013 07:34pm

I am a Pakistani and am tired of our national hero

Anees Sep 12, 2013 07:52pm

YES. I wish Shoaib Akhtar would bowl to him again..

Javed Sep 12, 2013 07:58pm

Given that NO team wants to visit Pakistan, given that our players carry a cheating reputation, given Indians don't want to play with Pakistan - still Wasim Akram keeps dreaming.

Anoop Sep 12, 2013 08:05pm

Tendulkar's, and in effect, India's best performances have come against Australia. And, India doesn't define itself nor its Cricket with respect to Pakistan.

Akram might be referring to playing first and last test against Pakistan, but Tendulkar should play against the team, which once boasted of Warne and McGrath and Brett Lee. During the late 90s and early 2000s it is against Australia that India have played so well and have fond memories of.

Warne came and went, McGrath came and went, Brett Lee came and went. Tendulkar is still persisting.

More than records, Tendulkar is a symbol for me. A man revered by, literally, the whole world, yet humble enough to not dominate the team or play politics. Tendulkar has never bad mouthed anyone, has acted disgracefully. Him, along with Dravid, Laxman, Kumble, Srinath have defined my childhood.

Talent is given by Nature or God. But, humility is man made, self made. Tendulkar is a self-mad man. A better man than most sportspersons of today. A rare breed, India was lucky to have.

rohan Sep 12, 2013 08:04pm


amit Sep 12, 2013 08:10pm

i am absolutely agree with wasim akram . india should host pakistan for test series.

Adnan Ahmed Sep 12, 2013 08:34pm

It would indeed be a fitting farwell provided a Pakistani team worthy of competing against the current Indian team showed up. Currently we're struggling against Zimbabwe!

Green Oval Sep 12, 2013 08:50pm

Sure. Tendulkar would love to go on a winning note. This spineless Pak team is making heavy weather of Zimbabwe and sir Akram is suggesting to pitch them against India potentially in India. Really?

Ashok Pandey Sep 12, 2013 09:32pm

Well said Wasim. He is indeed the best batsman... but my best bowler till now has always been you.

I always wished if India could have had you in the team.


raam Sep 12, 2013 09:47pm

Seeking an indirect help from India to revive pakistan cricket

javed Sep 12, 2013 10:33pm

never in india media have produce thatnews that pakistan come to india thats only in pakistan media ,in india bcci already invited west indies and fixutre the all matches

Ajit Kumar Das Sep 12, 2013 10:31pm

It's a good idea. I admire Wasim's ingenuity for creating the ideal scenario. There is a poetic passion in him. A.K. Das, India

Sonal Sep 12, 2013 11:00pm

Syed Sep 13, 2013 01:22am

That would be an awesome farewell for Sachin. Wasim Bhai is always a vocal supporter of India and strives to make Indo-Pak peace a reality through cricket.

May we have more like you Wasim!

Obaid Sep 13, 2013 02:06am

Good idea. May be ask Wasim, to participate, he seems to be a better option than the state of the current fast bowling in PCT. He has time to prepare....

ThirdEye Sep 13, 2013 02:06am

.......and India beating pakistan......icing on the cake.

Engr. Ahmad Sep 13, 2013 03:38am

SACHIN IS THE GAME ITSELF. Sachin is unarguably the biggest crowed favorite of all time. 40% cricket viewers around the world watch cricket soly bcz of Sachin. The Test matches that Sachin play have conspicuously larger crowds. Test cricket is already losing popularity & with Lara already gone, Sachin is the last hope for its own survival. WC 2007 turned out to be a flop bcz IND - actually Sachin- couldn't carry on & afterwards ODI was on rapid decline till Sachin's performance in WC 2011 boosted it & made WC2011 a big hit.

Game also needs iconic players like Sachin, Imran, Lara, Richards, Warne to attract next generation towards it & not every good cricketer is a superstar. Eg Pk keep discovering fast bowlers & Ind keep discovering batsmen, bcz Pk has had bowling heros & Ind has had Sachin. Sachin & Imran brought their entire nations to Cricket & the national sport hockey was left far behind. In WI, with cricketing superstars gone, cricket is on fast decline as few youngsters like it.

P.L.Bakhshi Sep 13, 2013 04:05am

This is a wonderful suggestion from famed Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram, an acclaimed left hand fast bowler and Lancashire legend. He has a reputation of being the finest exponent of reverse swing bowling and has many a world records to his credit. He is a former Pakistan

Joe Chaks Sep 13, 2013 05:58am

How can we improve relations and ties with India. Both countries complain that each one is sponsoring terrorism. I do not think India will give up Kashmir. So what next

Bilal Chaudhry Sep 13, 2013 06:26am

Why should we just pack up our bags and go play just for Tendulkar's sake? The BCCI is not our Father and can't summon us like children on when it pleases. We should stick to the FTP and that's that. The PCB should just grow a backbone and say NO just like the BCCI has done with the IPL and will most likely for the upcoming CL.

Ahmer Sep 13, 2013 06:34am

Sachin might be good cricketer but he is no sportsman. Why is he afraid to face Pakistani player? What has he done to make that happen?

Aslam Pervez Sep 13, 2013 08:22am

I watched in awe when Sachin was carried all around the stadium by his team mates after WC final victory. Virat made that famous statement about Sachin carrying the burden of his nation and Yuvi dedicated the cup to him. There has been no other cricketer who got so much love and respect from his countrymen and team mates. Not Javed Miandad, not Ricky Ponting, not even Imran. Even we, India's arch rivals, prayed for his 100th century, such is the charisma of the man.

Munibullah Sep 13, 2013 08:31am

I would love to see that!

S.F.Ali Sep 13, 2013 09:23am

I like the idea.

Sabir Butt Sep 13, 2013 09:42am

Yes perfect. Not only will this excellent proposal ease the tensions between the two nations but it will also create an opportunity for people like our Wasim bhai, Rameez bhai and all other ex-cricketer bhais to rake in millions of rupees.

Shehzad Zafar Sep 13, 2013 09:55am

Wasim Akram is a cheater and inventor of satta and spot fixing in cricket. Tendulkar is an average player who can only play in India or on some pitches in subcontinent. He should retire gracefully in India as he was not able to won any matches for India except for self records. Indians don't want Pakistani team on their soil and they should not visit their without proper invitation.

Hyder Sep 13, 2013 10:31am

Wishful thinking by Wasim Akram as currently India does not want to play pakistan on political grounds and Pakistanis are dying to play india on economic ground.

We must have some self esteem and do not be so desperate to play India.

insomniac Sep 13, 2013 11:04am

compliments from one legend to another.

Indian Sep 13, 2013 12:28pm

Nobody in India thinks of Pakistan as THE cricketing rival any more. We want India (and Sachin) to play against whoever is world no. 1.

Atif Sep 13, 2013 12:53pm

Pak women team had to "live" inside the stadium to survive extremist Indian threats, and we are talking about playing in front of a mad Kolkata crowd, which is probably the worst on the best days.

Let us see first if faisalabad wolves get the visa.

insomniac Sep 13, 2013 01:06pm

@Aslam Pervez: well said mate.. love for that matter knows no boundaries... same feelings are reciprocated towards wasim from all indians... they both are living legends.

altaf Sep 13, 2013 01:48pm

@Bilal Chaudhry: PCB nahin khelenge toh khaana kahaa se milega. Paapi pet ka sawal hain bhai...sorry but LOL

Vishal S Sep 13, 2013 02:25pm

Request to all cricket lovers to ignore stupid comments from either side of border...As a kid on Indian side I used to hate Wasim akram,Shoaib Akthar,Inzy,Anwar...but now we kind of miss these faces in pak team.. It was fun to see such great players along with out team of Sachin,Sehwag,Ganguly,Dravid.. Its end of era .. 20-30 years down the line we wld remember how bravely each team fought and how much fun its was to watch those matches with friends and family..thanks for bringing joys to our lives..Adios Sachin..wld miss you(whenever you retire)

Youth Sep 13, 2013 03:07pm

Wasim Akram, please keep your ideas & suggestions to yourself. On the one hand India & its cricket board is continuously insulting our players & board the recent being non issuance of visas to our players & you are suggesting rubbish. It may be good for your rapo but definitely not good for our cricket. Indian board should apologize first for its repeated mis-conduct only then your idea can even be talked about

Atif Sep 13, 2013 03:48pm

@Aslam Pervez:

You are an innocent soul. Your innocence is wasted on the Indians.

Sonal Sep 13, 2013 05:26pm


Lets not be arrogant and forget that India is just going through a good phase right now. That's all. Kal kisne dekha?

As an Indian, I can confidently say that there isn't another country that can bring out the same passion in us as Pakistan can. And Indian spectators enjoy an Indian-Pakistan match more than an India-Anything match any day! An India-Pakistan match is much much more than just plain cricket. There's no question about that.

Ad Zad Sep 13, 2013 08:23pm

@Shehzad Zafar: And you are a fool

Ad Zad Sep 13, 2013 08:25pm

@Anees: And get thrashed again like 2003 World Cup match

Ad Zad Sep 13, 2013 08:30pm

@PakFan: World Cup 2011- India ICC Champions Trophy 2013 - India Trination Series in WI 2013- India

Which other team can beat that in recent times?

hamza Sep 13, 2013 09:24pm

@Vishal S: gud yaar

Haider Sep 14, 2013 01:33am

I've always been a huge fan of Tendulkar. As a Pakistani, if I could create an all-star cricket team, Tendulkar would always find a spot. However, I wouldn't go as far as to call him the "sportsman of the century". Come on, sportsman of the century? really? Better than Muhammad Ali, Imran Khan, Sunil Gavaskar, and Michael Jordan? I dont think so.

dr vimal raina Sep 14, 2013 11:24am

I wish that Tendulkar plays his final Test against Pakistan in Eden Gardens. The earliest that can happen is in 2020 when Sachin finally retires.

Akram Sep 14, 2013 03:48pm

Tendulkar is a great batsmen, but its also a weakness of india that they hero worship their cricketers unduly. Tendulkar is 40! In Australia he would have been dropped before he got to 35, and replaced with someone better able. Tendulkar has been kept in the side by his name only recently. This also explains why Australia in until recently ruled the roost for so many years, whilst india was only an "also ran" in test cricket.

Rakesh Sep 14, 2013 05:50pm

@Shehzad Zafar: Sachin's Test average on swinging/bouncy pitches: 53.20 in Australia; 54.31 in England; 46.44 in South Africa. And a total of 15 test hundreds in these three countries.

Uday Kadam Sep 14, 2013 09:59pm


Also ran in recent years....India has not slipped out of the top three for the maximun part of last 5 years - you call it also ran!!!

In Australia, Tendulkar would have been dropped @ 35!!! From 35 till 38 Sachin has scored 14 + test centruies.....that is world class dude....only in 2010 alone, he scored 8 international centuries, in a space of 10 ODI mathces he made 163, 175 and 200 - then followed up with an amazing world cup run with 2 centuries and ended second behind dilshan of srilanka.....Akram bhai dil bada karo aur appreciate karo!!!

IndFan Sep 14, 2013 10:04pm

@PakFan: we are number # 2 as of now dude - so its not really bad you see.....pak is reeling @ 6 - so set your shop in order!!!

Anand Sep 15, 2013 12:06am

@Rakesh: I totally agree with you. Mr. Sehzad has least knowledge about Tendulkar and Indian Cricket. Let's ignore such a comment which did not have any understanding or study of fact before commenting.

Shubs Sep 15, 2013 11:40am

@Bilal Chaudhry: I think you may want to check with one Mr. Abdul Qadir about your fantasy that he is "afraid to face Pakistani players".

vipin jain Sep 15, 2013 04:25pm

first of all let me tell you that i am an indian and regular reader of dawn newspaper. wasim bhai himself is as humble as sachin tendulkar and very popular figure in india, more respectable than likes of imran khan. wasim bhai's intent is to revive cricketing ties with india which is very important at this juncture and sports can definitely help in improving the relations between these two countries. i request indians and pakistanis to keep their egos aside and always work towards having normal relationship between two countries. one should not make nonsense comments here which reader of other side may not like to read.