Sachin Tendulkar has announced his retirement from Test cricket. The Indian batting legend brought an end to the speculation regarding his future by confirming that the upcoming West Indies series, where he will play his landmark 200th Test, will be his final match.
The right-handed batsman only featured in the longer format of the game after retiring from One Day Internationals last December. The 40-year-old has made 198 appearances in Test cricket, scoring 15,837 runs in the process with the average of 53.86.
Tendulkar had a successful Test and ODI career and was part of the team that won the ODI World Cup in 2011. He was also part of Mumbai Indians squad which won the Champions League T20 earlier this month.
Tendulkar's statement, posted on the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) official website, read: "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. 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," he added.
BCCI president N Srinivasan praised the batting maestro for serving India for the past 24 years.
"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," Srinivasan said.
"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."