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Tendulkar calls it quits from Test
To play final 200th match against WI
Shiv Kumar/TNS

Mumbai, October 10
Sachin Tendulkar has finally called it a day. After battling poor form for a long time, cricket’s modern-day legend today announced his decision to retire from Test cricket after playing his 200th match next month.

Tendulkar’s final fixture against the West Indies could be played either in Mumbai or at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Already, the Cricket Club of India and Mumbai Cricket Association are locked in a tussle over who will host the match. While the former controls the historic Brabourne Stadium in South Mumbai, the latter controls the spacious Wankhede Stadium a few kilometres down the road.

Tendulkar, 40, formally informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about his decision to quit after spending 24 long years at the crease. “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,” Tendulkar said in his statement. The batting maestro’s statement was formally released to the media by BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel this afternoon.

Tendulkar thanked the BCCI in his statement. “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 said.

Tendulkar, who made his debut against Pakistan in 1989 as a 16-year-old, has 15,837 runs in 198 Tests and 18,246 runs in 463 ODIs. He played just one T20 match for India against South Africa in December 2006, before retiring from the shortest format of international cricket.

He fulfilled his long-cherished dream of winning the World Cup when India won the tournament in 2011 at home. Last December, he hung up his boots from the 50 overs game to make way for youngsters.

Although Tendulkar had always maintained that he would continue playing cricket as long as he enjoys playing the game, the pressure of playing at the international level for so long has gradually taking a toll on his ageing body.

He recently retired from the IPL and the Champions League T20 event after his franchise Mumbai Indians won both the titles this year.

Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Gundappa Viswanath, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Chandu Borde and Kiran More were among the host of former players who paid rich tributes to the batsman. BCCI President N Srinivasan said the legendary batsman ranks among the top all-time great sportspersons in the world.

“Sachin Tendulkar’s decision to retire from Test cricket marks the end of a golden era for not only the Indian cricket but of cricket world over....His achievements are an inspiration to all cricketers who are in the game and he will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come,” NCP chief Sharad Pawar said in his statement.

Shortly after the news of Tendulkar’s retirement broke, fans thronged outside his bungalow in suburban Bandra. Police were called in to beef up security.

(With agency inputs)





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