Sachin Tendulkar has announced that his 200th Test, scheduled to be the second against West Indies in November, will be the last of his illustrious career.
Tendulkar contacted N Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and communicated his desire to make his 200th Test the final one.
“All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India,” said Tendulkar in a statement released by BCCI. “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.
“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.”
Srinivasan described Tendulkar as “the greatest cricketer India has produced”, and said the BCCI respected his decision.
“I have been an ardent follower and admirer of Sachin Tendulkar from the days he came to play Buchi Babu in Chennai,” he said. “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 sportspersons 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.”
Tendulkar, who made his debut against Pakistan in Karachi in November 1989, has played in 198 Tests, scoring 15,837 runs at 53.87, with 51 hundreds. The number of Tests, runs and centuries are all world records. Tendulkar had earlier retired from One-Day Internationals on December 23 last year. He played in 463 ODIs, scoring 18426 runs, with 49 centuries and a strike-rate of 86.24. As in Tests, no player made more runs or centuries, or played in more matches than he had.
During the recently concluded Champions League Twenty20 2013, Tendulkar became the first Indian, and 16th batsman overall, to score 50,000 runs in senior, competitive cricket, including first-class matches, List A games and Twenty20. He is also the only batsman to score 100 international centuries.