Agencies, Mumbai/New Delhi,
Putting an end to all speculations swirling around his retirement, Sachin Tendulkar— the man who gave nightmares to bowlers— today announced that he will hang his boots after his landmark 200th Test next month. The 40-year-old former India captain, who retired from one-day internationals in December 2012, will end his career with two matches against the West Indies in India. In an emotional statement to BCCI President N Srinivasan, Tendulkar said: ‘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,’ the 40-year-old stated.
Srinivasan also confirmed the news and said, ‘Tendulkar called me today and said he is sending a press release and wants BCCI to release it to media.’
‘I am great admirer of Sachin and he is 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,” said the BCCI President. BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel’s said: ‘If you start your course with all your force, every source of nature will turn towards and help you, to achieve your true success.”
“This holds so true for one of our finest players, master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar. With mixed feelings of joy and sorrow, joy for his excellent performances during his career, and the sorrow of bidding him goodbye after his 200th Test, I wish him good luck for all his future endeavours.”
Former Test captain and opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar told a news channel: ‘It will not be easy to fill the gap left by Sachin. The No. 4 position will be a slot that will invite a huge amount of pressure. It will be a litmus test for anyone batting there. All big Test sides have had the best of batsmen batting at No. 4.’
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly said: “Sachin has made the right decision and at the right time. He deserves to play his last Test at home and whether Test cricket will be poorer without him we will have to wait and see.”