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Team India pacer Shardul Thakur made an impressive ODI debut against Sri Lanka on Thursday and finished with 1/26 in 7 overs as India crushed the Islanders by 168 runs to take a 4-0 lead in the five match series. Shardul came into the field donning the No.10 jersey which was worn by Sachin Tendulkar during his playing days. So this act of Shardul ignited many Tendulkar fans who felt that No.10 should have retired with Sachin Tendulkar and no one deserves to wear the number 10 jersey.
Many blamed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for allowing him to wear the jersey. However veteran off spinner Harbhajan Singh defended Shardul on the issue which might have ignited the Tendulkar fans yet again.
“Everyone has their emotions. We all respect Sachin paaji. No one wore that jersey till the time he was playing. That jersey will live on forever. It’s respect will not go down simply because someone else is wearing it. It’s the Board which must decide if it wants to retire or preserve this jersey number, and dedicate it to Sachin. And if it was to be done, it should’ve been done when he quit the game (in 2013). If you speak Sachin also, he wouldn’t have a problem with someone wearing it,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by Times of India.
“Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with anyone wearing his jersey. We should encourage youngsters to do well in this game and win games for India, just like Tendulkar did. It’s unfair to criticise Shardul for this, and drag him into this unnecessary controversy. Tomorrow, you may say that no one can wear Virender Sehwag’s No 45, or MS Dhoni’s No 7 jersey,” added the veteran spinner who bagged over 400 Test wickets
“And see, by just wearing Tendulkar’s jersey, no one will become Tendulkar. Tendulkar will remain at the top as always -highly respected and regarded. When you’re allowed to wear that number and it’s available, why not wear it?” concluded the ‘Turbanator.’