Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from One-Day Internationals. © Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar has announced his retirement from limited-overs international cricket with immediate effect.

His announcement came on Sunday (December 23), the day India’s selectors were to meet to pick the teams for the two Twenty20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals against Pakistan beginning later this week.

Tendulkar spoke to N Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and conveyed his decision to retire from the one-day format, a BCCI release said.

“I have decided to retire from the one-day format of the game,” Tendulkar said in a statement.  “I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup-winning Indian team.  The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest.  I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future.  I am eternally grateful to all my well wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years.”

Tendulkar signed off the highest run-scorer and century-maker in ODI cricket. In a record 463 appearances, he made 18,426 runs at 44.83, with 49 centuries and 96 half-centuries. His lone T20I appearance came in India’s first T20 International, against South Africa in Johannesburg in late 2006.

Sanjay Jagdale, the secretary of the BCCI said the Board had not been taken unawares by Tendulkar’s decision. “It was not sudden. He informed us before the selection about his decision,” said Jagdale. “He spoke to me and the president about his decision.”

Ratnakar Shetty, the chief administrative officer of the BCCI, said Tendulkar’s decision had been made with an eye on the future. “What he has expressed is his concern that India has to prepare for the next World Cup,” Shetty said. “From that point of view, he felt that it was time that he retired.”

Tendulkar made his ODI debut against Pakistan in Gujranwala in 1989, with a duck in his first international appearance. Coincidentally, his last ODI too was against Pakistan, at the Asia Cup in Mirpur in March when he made a half-century in an Indian victory. It was during that tournament that he also brought up his 49th ODI century, thus completing a century of international hundreds.

Having played for all of the first four and a half years of his career in the middle order, Tendulkar volunteered to open the batting on India’s tour of New Zealand in early 1994, when he smashed a 49-ball 82. That was in his 70th ODI, and sealed his spot at the top of the order. His first hundred came in his 79th match, in Colombo, and since then, there has been no looking back.

Tendulkar made more than 500 runs in the 1996 World Cup in the sub-continent and in the 2003 event in South Africa, where he was named the Player of the Tournament after helping India reach the final. In February 2010, he became the first man to score an ODI double hundred when he scored an undefeated 200 against South Africa in Gwalior.

He also played a stellar role in India’s victory in the 2011 World Cup, making centuries against England and South Africa in the league phase, and half-centuries in the quarterfinal against Australia in Ahmedabad and the semifinal against Pakistan in Mohali.

In pictures: Sachin Tendulkar’s 23-year long career in One-Day International cricket.