Tendulkar announces retirement from Test cricket

India

Veteran Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test match, likely to be played against the West Indies later this year, will be his last.

Veteran Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test match, likely to be played against the West Indies later this year, will be his last.

198 Tests between November 1989 and March 2013 have brought Tendulkar a record 15,837 runs at the impressive average of 53.86, including 51 centuries – and a highest score of 248 not out against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

"All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India," Tendulkar said in a statement. "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 has 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."

Tendulkar has not registered a century in 21 matches in the longest format and a decision over his future had been mooted for quite some time. Nevertheless, that should not detract from an illustrious international career that began when he was just a teenager against Pakistan in Karachi in November 1989.

He made the first of an unprecedented 51 Test centuries in his ninth match the following year, against England at Old Trafford, although his now infamous failure to reach three figures at Lord's will remain a rare blot on his copybook.

Tendulkar became the first batsman to reach 50 international hundreds in 2000 and went on to surpass former West Indies batsman Brian Lara as the leading Test run-scorer eight years later.

Tendulkar will be hoping to end his international career on a high note when India take on the Windies in a two-match series next month and can still reach the 16,000-run mark with a decent showing, a record that will surely never be surpassed.

BCCI president N. Srinivasan led the tributes to Tendulkar, hailing him as the "greatest cricketer India has produced".

"I have been an ardent follower and admirer of Sachin Tendulkar from the days he came to play Buchi Babu in Chennai," Srinivasan said in a statement.

"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."

An innings of 111 on March 12, 2011 in an ODI against South Africa was Tendulkar's 99th ton in all international competitions although it took him just over a year to register another hundred for India, in a low-key encounter against Bangladesh in Dhaka, his penultimate 50-over match.

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