West Indies legend Sir Viv Richards has weighed in on the Sachin Tendulkar retirement debate, saying no-one is 'qualified' to tell the Little Master when to hang up his gloves, and that he should make the decision on his own.
Tendulkar's poor form and seeming weakness against fast bowling has become a hot button topic of late, given his lack of runs against England in the current series. Despite this, he remains a cult figure, as he is the only player to have 100 international centuries to his name.
Many a pundit has taken a bet on if the 39-year-old will quit before he's pushed, but Richards says the decision should the player's alone, and that retirement can be unpleasant if one is not ready for it.
Richards, who played 121 Test for the Windies at an average over 50, told BBC Radio Shropshire: "Nobody is qualified enough to tell him when they think he should go.
"When you're retired, you're retired for a very, very long time. It's like being dead to some degree, so while you're alive and still up for it and still enjoying what you're doing, to me that's what it's all about."
Richards ended his own career playing county cricket for Glamorgan for three years, and he felt that it helped wean him off the game and retire with dignity, with bookmakers like Paddy Power getting an extended run on his good form.
He said: "I wanted to go out with a bang. To have gone to Glamorgan at that time and to have helped to generate that spirit about what collective competition is all about and having success at the very end of it, it was a proper send-off."