Sachin Tendulkar retires from Test cricket after 'living his dream for 24 years'

HT Correspondent and Agencies, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 10, 2013
First Published: 15:50 IST(10/10/2013) | Last Updated: 18:00 IST(10/10/2013)

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'The God' has called it quits and cricket won't find another one to fill the vacuum for a long, long time to come.
Sachin Tendulkar, the man who gave nightmares to bowlers, inspired fellow batsmen to be like him and helped umpires forget how tiring it can be to stand on the field all day long, will quit Test cricket after playing his 200th match next month.
"It's been a huge honour to have represented my country and played all over the world," Tendulkar, the highest run-scorer in the history of Test cricket, said in a statement.

The statement issued by the BCCI on his behalf reads:
“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.

Full Coverage: A 100 Hundreds and Counting

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.

In a statement, BCCI President N Srinivasan's said: "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.”

“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."

Read More: The 100 milestones

Tendulkar has already retired from ODIs. His last test will be against the West Indies at a yet to be determinted venue from November 14-18.

Sachin: the living legend

At 5'5", Tendulkar was not exactly the most colossal player to stride on to the field but he bows out as a giant, who ruled cricket for 24 years and gave his legion of fans mesmeric and emotionally overwhelming memories.

With a mountain of runs good enough to bury a statistician to death, Tendulkar's retirement creates a vacuum so huge that one can safely say that cricket would never be the same again.

The 40-year-old Tendulkar is the most prolific batsman in international cricket history with 15,837 runs in 198 tests and 18,426 runs in 463 one-day internationals. He also holds the record for most centuries in tests (51) and ODIs (49). It is a feat so huge in magnitude that no contemporary or even a talented successor of his, looks capable of overhauling it in the near or distant future.

Picture Gallery: Worshipping the Master

Being a part-time bowler, he has taken 45 wickets at an economy rate of 3.51.
His journey started way back in 1989 when he was just 16 years of age.

A disarming smile, curly locks, resolute eyes and abundant talent, this was the Tendulkar who first stepped on to the minefield that is Test cricket against a ferocious Pakistani bowling attack boasting of that deadly combo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

Tendulkar gave an early display of his steely resolve when he continued to bat in a blood-soaked shirt despite being hit on his face.

That resolve came to define the little man who had the world's most feared bowlers bowing in admiration of his talent and skill. His wicket, in fact, remains the most cherished for all those who managed to have it against their name.