Image courtesy of: SuperSport
“All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years”
Legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar will formally announce his retirement after playing his 200th Test, which is set to come against the West Indies at home next month.
Tendulkar, who is 40-years-old, announced his decision to retire through a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) statement, just like he did when he retired from ODIs in December 2012.
“All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years,” Tendulkar said in the statement. “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.”
Tendulkar’s retirement has been the talking point for numerous months now as pundits and fans continued to guess when he would decide to call it quits.
There has still been no confirmation on which two venues will host the Test matches and which ground will have the honour of hosting the landmark Test.
BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan noted that he could not imagine what life in the national team would be like without Tendulkar.
“I have been an ardent follower and admirer of Sachin Tendulkar from the days he came to play Buchi Babu in Chennai,” Srinivasan 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 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.”
Tendulkar’s 200th Test will also be the last of his numerous milestones as no other cricketer in the history of the game has represented their country in 200 Test matches.
The ‘Little Master’ made his international debut in 1989 at the age of 16 and was the third-youngest Test cricketer at the time.