‘Sensed he Was Disturbed, Ineptitude of Some Players Deliberate’: Ratnakar Shetty on Why Sachin Tendulkar Didn’t Enjoy Captaincy

Written by Sumit Seth

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar as captain wasn’t a happy man because of what was happening around him, claims former BCCI administrator Ratnakar Shetty. Tendulkar captained India between 1996 and 2000 in 98 matches of which 27 resulted in victories while 52 in defeats ( also 12 draws, six no results and one tie).

While Tendulkar as a batter continued to flourish, he couldn’t replicate the success with his captaincy and Shetty says a lot of that had to do with the deliberate ineptitude of some players of which the world became aware later on.

“Having spent a lot of time with Sachin in Sri Lanka, I had sensed that he was disturbed,” The Indian Express quoted Shetty as writing in his book On Board: Test.Trial.Triumph. My years in BCCI.

“He wasn’t enjoying the captaincy and I was by no means the only individual who felt that all wasn’t well. There were times when information pertaining to the trajectory of games that we were yet to play, would reach us and leave us wondering. The timing of some dismissals, especially in the ODIs, was weird, to say the least.”

Shetty recalled how Tendulkar and he went to meet the then BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur to discuss about the prevailing atmosphere and rumours surrounding the Indian cricket team. While nobody was informed about their meeting, former captain Mohammed Azharuddin called him later that night inquiring about the same leaving Shetty stunned.

“Sachin and I went to meet Rajbhai and (Jaywant) Lele. We discussed the tour, the Rashid Latif interview and the rumours that had been doing the rounds. Imagine my shock then to receive a call later that night from none other than Azharuddin, enquiring about our meeting with the BCCI president and secretary,” Shetty wrote.

“The entire purpose of the meeting had been defeated. I called Mr Dalmiya and told him that henceforth, no manager would be frank with the Board. Unfortunately, it took a while – three more years, to be precise – for people to realise that the ineptitude of some of the players was deliberate,” he added.

About the author

Sumit Seth