Sachin Tendulkar Announces Plan to Retire After 200th Test Match for India

Christopher AtkinsContributor IOctober 10, 2013

CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 19: Sachin Tendulkar of India celebrates his 50th Test century during day 4 of the 1st Test match between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park on December 19, 2010 in Centurion, South Africa.  (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar has announced that he is to retire from international cricket following his 200th Test match against the West Indies next month, per the BCCI.

Tendulkar, 40, made his Test debut aged 16 against Pakistan in 1989 and has gone on to play 198 times in the five-day game for his country, per ESPNCricinfo.

With India set to play the West Indies in a two-Test series next month, Tendulkar has decided to call time on one of international cricket's greatest careers.

In a BCCI statement released on Thursday, 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.

Described by Allan Donald as "the best I have bowled to," per ESPNCricinfo, Tendulkar has been the iconic figure of Indian cricket for over 20 years.

With a Test match batting average of 53.86 and the milestone figure of 100 international centuries to his name, per ESPNCricinfo, his performances will likely go unmatched for quite some time.

Following the retirement of Rahul Dravid in 2012, Tendulkar's exit leaves a second major void to be filled in an India top-order batting lineup that has relied on his presence for so long.

It will be an almost impossible task, and there will likely be scenes of despair from sections of the crowd when he exits the crease for the final time next month, but Indian cricket will move on.

On his first tour to England in 1990, aged just 17 years and 112 days, Tendulkar became the then second-youngest centurion in Test history, scoring an unbeaten 119 at Old Trafford to help India secure a draw.

The 2010 ICC Cricketer of the Year notched his best Test score against Bangladesh in Dhaka in December 2004, compiling 248 not out in the first Test between the two sides. 

In 2011, meanwhile, he became the first player to score 200 runs in a One-Day International against South Africa in Gwalior. In the 50-over format, his total of 18,426 run is almost 5,000 more than Australia’s Ricky Ponting in second on the all-time list, per Bloomberg.

One of the most complete batsmen of all time, per ESPNCricinfo, Tendulkar's compact style with punchy drives and excellent use of the wrist to steer balls into the leg-side made him a difficult proposition to bowl to.

Tendulkar, like Brian Lara, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, will rightly be remembered as one of the giants of his era and, in many people's minds, one of the best batsmen in the history of Test cricket.