Sachin Tendulkar, arguably, one of the greatest batsman the game have ever seen, to hang up his boots after his 200 the test against West Indies in Mumbai , says a media release by BCCI. The iconic batsman will play his last test in the Indian soil.
The man who made breaking records his second nature is one of the greatest ambassadors of the game. On an emotional note Sachin said "All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years. It’s hard for me to imagine a life without playing cricket because it’s all I have ever done since I was 11 years old"
"It’s been a huge honour to have represented my country and played all over the world. I look forward to playing my 200th Test Match on home soil, as I call it a day," he added.
"I thank the BCCI for everything over the years and for permitting me to move on when my heart feels it's time! I thank my family for their patience and understanding. Most of all, I thank my fans and well-wishers who through their prayers and wishes have given me the strength to go out and perform at my best," the statement added.
The news came in the wake of the recent controversies surrounding Sachin's retirement.
Sachin had earlier retired from all other formats of the game.
Fans react to Sachin Tendulkar' retirement: http://snd.sc/18RIKRy
The fact that the BCCI squeezed in a home series against the West Indies had raised speculation that it was done to give Tendulkar the opportunity to retire in front of his home fans.
Although Tendulkar had always maintained that he would continue playing cricket as long as he enjoys playing the game, the pressure of playing at the international level has gradually taking a toll on his ageing body.
He recently retired from the IPL and the Champions League T20 event after his franchise Mumbai Indians won both the titles this year.
Although the decision to retire was in the offing for some time, the BCCI release did create a flutter, prompting many former Test crickets to pay glorious tributes to the champion batsman who virtually held every batting record.
Tendulkar has been the most complete batsman of his time and the most prolific runmaker of all time. His 198 Test appearances yielded 15,837 runs at an average of 53.86. From his 463 ODI matches, he had, under his belt, a whopping 18,426 at an average of 44.83.
He is the only batsman to score 100 international centuries -- 51 in Tests and 49 in ODIs.
Much before his debut on November 15, 1989 against Pakistan, Tendulkar's precocious talent was there to be seen when he shared an unbeaten 664-run stand with buddy Vinod Kambli in the Lord Harris Shield Inter-School Game in 1988.
His first Test century came in England in 1990 at Old Trafford and the Mumbaikar rose in stature after the 1991-92 tour of Australia, hitting sublime hundreds on a Sydney turner and a Perth minefield.
Tendulkar was also the first batsman in the world to score a double ton in ODIs, a feat he achieved in Gwalior against South Africa in February 2010. This was included in Times magazine's top 10 sports moments of the year.
The biggest compliment to his batting came from Bradman himself in 1999 when he said that Tendulkar's style of playing resembled his style.
His 154 scalps in ODIs underline the fact that Tendulkar could have also staked claim to be that elusive all-rounder that India has been desperately looking for since the legendary Kapil Dev.
In the field, he is among the safest pair of hands in the slip and his flat throw releasing strong arm saw him manning the deep with equal aplomb. He has taken 114 catches in Test cricket and 140 in the ODIs.
BCCI president Narayaswami Srinivasan paid rich tributes to Tendulkar.
"I have been an ardent follower and admirer of Sachin Tendulkar from the days he came to play Buchi Babu in Chennai. He is without doubt the greatest cricketer India has produced. In fact, one should really say he ranks among the top of all-time great sports persons in the world," he said.
Srinivasan said Tendulkar has been a true ambassador of Indian cricket.
"No one has served Indian cricket as Sachin has. He has truly been an ambassador for India and Indian cricket. He has been an inspiration for generations of sportsmen not just cricketers. We respect his decision to retire although many of us can't imagine an Indian team without Sachin," he said.