New Delhi: Last week, Sandeep Patil was faced with couple of tricky questions during his final press conference as chairman of selectors.
After announcing India's squad for the New Zealand series, the former India cricketer was asked about the timing of Sachin Tendulkar's retirement.
Considering it was the biggest episode of his four-year tenure, Patil must have seen this question coming.
He was fully prepared for it and replied with caution and care.
"There are some matters between the selectors and BCCI which should remain confidential and cannot be revealed," he told reporters.
However, Patil made a shocking revelation soon after he was officially replaced by MSK Prasad as the new selection committee chairman on Wednesday.
In an interview with ABP Majha, the 60-year-old confessed that selection panel were on the verge of dropping the master blaster from India's ODI team.
"On December 12, 2012, we met Sachin and asked him about his future plans. He said he did not have retirement on his mind. But the selection committee had reached a consensus on Sachin... and had informed the board too about it. Perhaps Sachin understood what was coming because at the time of the next meeting, Sachin called and said he was retiring (from ODIs). If he had not announced his decision to quit then, we would have definitely dropped him," Patil told the channel.
The 1983 World cup winner also went on to add that asking a player of Tendulkar's stature about his retirement plans was the most painful memory of his term.
Patil though offered a different version of events in an interview to ABP's website.
"Sandeep Patil is a man of low stature compared to Sachin Tendulkar. Do you really think I can ask someone who is called the ‘god of cricket’ to leave the game? It was not my decision, Sachin himself decided to bid good-bye. No doubt I was a part of that decision. It was a right decision taken at a right time. I was disappointed like a million others but you shouldn’t get disturbed when you are at the chief selector’s position," he stated.
Patil also clarified that as a selector, he didn't have the power to ask any player to retire and that all senior players like Sachin, Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni decided to call it a day as and when they felt it was right.