The long-awaited announcement has finally arrived. Sachin Tendulkar will retire from Test cricket, and thus all forms of the game, after his 200th Test for India later this year.
The tributes poured in from all and sundry (especially England players) on Twitter, extolling the Little Master's virtues and one or two taking the mickey.
India fast bowler Irfan Pathan: "Not being able to play alongside him or not seeing him play in d future sounds scary #SachinTendulkar"
India opening batsman and long-time team-mate Gautam Gambhir: "Salutes to Sachin paaji. I think India jersey number 10 should retire as well and preserved forever. Thanks Paaji"
Former India batsman and current commentator Sanjay Manjrekar: "Privileged to have seen a child prodigy go on to become a true legend of the game from very close quarters. All the best Sachin."
Former Australia player and Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody: "Time waits for know one as #Tendulkar prepares to say goodbye, been a privilege to play and coach against the little master one of the greats!"
England batsman and sometimes skipper Eoin Morgan: "Sad to hear the greatest ever batsman is calling it a day. One man who inspired a nation #Sachin"
England batsman Kevin Pietersen: "Sachin #10dulkar - Undisputed Champion of Cricket!"
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan: "One of the Greatest ever @sachin_rt is retiring... One of my heroes and a absolute joy to play against.. #BornToPlayCricket"
Vaughan added teasingly of the one time he bowled the Little Master: "A great player but struggled against part time Off spin @sachin_rt !!!!!!"
England spinner Monty Panesar: "Greatest batsmen retires sachin tendulkar. The Master brought a lot of happiness globally #tendulkar"
England batsman Ian Bell: "Never be another @sachin_rt !! Legend!"
Durham and England fast bowler Graham Onions: "Even if it was only one game I have to say Sachin is one the best players I've bowled against, privilege to have met the little master"
Former Australia fast bowler Damien Fleming: "Sachin Tendulkar to retire after his 200th test match v windies in Mumbai. Best batsman I bowled too at his peak no weakness #LittleMaster"
Australia spin legend Shane Warne: "Congrats to my good friend Sachin on what can only be described as an amazing career ! I wish you and your family all the best in the future."
Try to decipher India batsman Unmukt Chand's tribute: "@sachin_rt I alwaz wantd 2b lyk u.Nt jst as a playr bt as a prsn also.U hv truly insprd my gen.Thanku sir 4insprg us&gvng us so mch joynprid"
South Africa batsman Alviro Petersen: "Well done on a great career Sachin Tendulkar! Certainly a legend of the game! #LittleMaster"