Tributes poured in after Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from One-Day International cricket on Sunday (December 23) from team-mates and opponents alike, with current and former cricketers generous in their praise of his remarkable career.
Sourav Ganguly: I felt that he might have played the series against Pakistan. But it is his decision and I think it is the right one. There was a doubt about whether he would play ODI cricket or not. But I am not surprised by his decision. He has done what he thought was right. I don’t think there was any pressure of selectors on him. It is his own decision. No one can drop him.
VVS Laxman: I am sure Sachin has thought this through and we must respect his decision. It was an absolute treat to play alongside him in the one-day format. I have very fond memories of the century he made against Australia in Sharjah when I was at the non-striker’s end. He redefined the art of opening the innings in one-day cricket, and what was amazing was the consistency with which he continued to score over a period of 23 years and more than 460 matches. To average in the mid 40s at a strike rate of more than 85 speaks volumes of the greatness of Sachin the one-day batsman.
Rahul Dravid: Sachin’s has been a phenomenal career. If you look at the statistics, his greatness becomes even more evident in the sheer volume of runs he has scored and the huge gap between him and the next batsman. He redefined batting but people tend to think about Sanath Jayasuriya when it comes to aggressive batting at the top. The truth is that even before Jayasuriya, Sachin had done that. To bat consistently at the top order and the aggressive manner in which he did that is a staggering achievement.
Anil Kumble: It will be tough to see an Indian (ODI) team list without Sachin’s name in it. He has made the decision and there must have been a sense of relief for him. His record in ODIs is unparalleled. It is not just about the incredible amount of runs or hundreds he scored, it is also about him being part of a great team, achievement of winning the World Cup, which must surely rank as the icing on the cake. He changed the way batting was approached in ODIs, especially after he started opening. And he was good as a bowler. If a left-hander came in, he will bowl off-breaks, if a right-hander came in, he will bowl leg-spin, if there was dew then he would bowl seam-up. That’s Sachin for you, you can actually call him an allrounder. When people talk about the Hero Cup final and talk about my six wickets, you should remember that it was Sachin who got Brian Lara out! His has been a terrific career and it is a tribute to his skills and fitness that he lasted 23 years and now we will enjoy watching him in Tests before he makes a final call on what has been a fabulous career.
Javagal Srinath: It was an absolute pleasure to watch him bat in ODIs. He changed the way ODIs were played right from the time he opened in New Zealand in 1994. He was the one who infused aggression into the game and you can say that he was a game-changer. It was a privilege to share the dressing room with him. The good thing is that he will still play Tests.
Yuvraj Singh (On Twitter): In my heart and fellow indians! The pride of our country I salute to u for ur contribution to indian cricket @sachin_rt.
R Ashwin (on Twitter): It was a privilege to play ODI cricket with the greatest ever to have played this game and I was privileged to be a part of his ultimate moment of winning the World Cup at home. Sachin, here’s wishing you all the best and may I say ODI cricket will be poorer without you.
Harbhajan Singh (on Twitter): Sachin Tendulkar a great batsman, great human being, a great friend, great man to look up 2 … 423 matches, 23 yrs, 18426 runs !!!! These numbers nobody else will be able to come close to. salute salute salute to sachin.
Mohammad Hafeez: There is no doubt he is a legend. Personally as a cricketer, and we as the Pakistan team will really miss him. We (the whole nation) all love him as a player. He is a great entertainer. We wish him the very best in whatever he wants to do in the future.
Waqar Younis: I won’t say a batsman like him will not come but he was the greatest batsman of this era and to maintain the zeal and fitness for 23 years was a big achievement for him. I also feel proud that I played against him and found him a great player and a nice gentleman.
Wasim Akram: It (his achievements) will be tough to match in the years to come. He was a special talent and a very special cricketer. Sachin was really 16 at the time when he came to Pakistan in 1989 and Waqar and I thought, ‘What will this 16-year-old do against us?’ He was hit on the mouth but he showed a lot of gumption and courage to score a fifty in the fourth Test in Sialkot and after that innings we realised that he is a special talent. Sachin always played under a lot of pressure from the billions of Indian fans and the kind of consistency he showed proved that he handled those pressures and huge expectations admirably well.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth: I am surprised by his move but he is leaving ODI cricket on a high. I am sure he will want to leave on a high in Test cricket also. He will be looking forward to a good Test series against Australia. He has always done well against Pakistan. But he always raises his bar on a good wicket against a strong attack. Be it in the 1992 World Cup against Pakistan or 2003, he did well against Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup also. It is easy for us to say that he could have retired after the 2011 World Cup. He has got 100 centuries so he went to the Asia Cup. It is one thing that only few have achieved. His records cannot be surpassed.
Dilip Vengsarkar: Actually I am surprised. If he is continuing with international cricket (Test) then he should have continued with ODI also. We play almost 25 ODIs in a season. It is very important to keep playing international cricket. In ODIs, he opens the innings and plays the full innings almost so he gets used to international bowling. I am surprised he opted out of ODIs. He should have continued playing ODI. As long as he is playing Test match cricket or international cricket, he should have continued playing in ODIs.
Kevin Pietersen (on Twitter): Statistics NEVER lie! They tell a very true story.. Well done Sachin! What an incredible ODI career.
Hashim Amla (on Twitter): Conclusion of a sterling ODI career from a wonderful batsman. Congrats Sachin Tendulkar.
Ramiz Raja: When you have played 23 years of international cricket, a time comes when ODIs don’t excite you anymore as you have achieved everything that you possibly could have. Sachin has also won the World Cup, therefore his decision is understandable. However, herein lies the biggest challenge as he has now retired from ODIs. This will mean that he will be at the most playing 30 days of international cricket. Earlier he used to play both ODIs and Tests which meant that he played close 70-75 days minimum every year. It will be a very big challenge to come for those 25-30 days and be in good rhythm to perform at his best. But I am delighted to find the manner in which he is trying to work hard to get back into form in Test cricket which shows his hunger and passion to do well in Tests.
Bapu Nadkarni: His retirement was expected for some time now and he must be thinking that he is good enough for the five day scene, that is why he hasn’t retired from Tests. He is the best man to decide when to retire from other formats because he knows his body well. All this time people were asking when is he retiring? Now that he has announced his retirement from ODIs, people are asking why has he retired? I don’t understand the Indian people.
MS Dhoni: We’re disappointed that we won’t see his 50th century in coloured clothing or his 100th half-century – he was four short. He has been an inspiration and encouraged millions of people to take up the sport. He also made us learn a lot of things. As youngsters, when we came into the side, it was important to see how he prepared himself for each game. For him, every game was a big game. He showed us how to be humble in life and how to digest success – one of the most difficult things to do. I personally learnt a lot from him. We’ll definitely miss him, but the good thing is that he’ll play in one of the formats. The retirement is his decision and we must respect it.