Sachin Tendulkar has said the senior players in the Indian team must be respected for the "major contributions" they have made over the years. Tendulkar, who recently became the leading Test run-scorer, said the decision on retiring from international cricket should be made by the players, whom he felt will know when the time is right.

The seniors - Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble - were under intense scrutiny by the media after poor performances in the 2-1 defeat in the Test series in Sri Lanka. Ganguly, who was not picked for the Irani Trophy, announced the Tests against Australia will be his last international appearance for India.

"Lack of respect towards senior players doesn't happen anywhere," Tendulkar told the news channel NDTV. "We all know when to move away from the sport. But people have their opinions. Sometimes these opinions are not correct. But one is made to believe that this is the right opinion. The individuals will take their decisions when they feel it's the right time."

Tendulkar said he was "surprised by Sourav's [Ganguly's] decision to quit". "I am sure it must have taken him a long time to reach there. And it's a big decision. But if he feels that it is the way to go, then we all should respect his decision."

Tendulkar and Laxman played crucial innings to save the first Test against Australia in Bangalore. Tendulkar then became the highest run-scorer in Test cricket during his 88 in the second Test in Mohali, while Ganguly went past 7000 Test runs during his 16th Test century in the same match, which India won by 320 runs.

all courtesy:cricinfo