Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar is to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, which will recognise his immense contribution to Indian cricket and the country in general.
Recommendations for the award are made to the president of India by the prime minister, who then decides the recipient.
Sachin Tendulkar to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 16, 2013
This honour marks an incredible career that saw Tendulkar develop from a 16-year-old prodigy to one of the greatest players the game of cricket has ever seen.
No one has scored more Test match runs than "The Little Master," and his 200th Test brought a close to his remarkable cricketing journey.
A final innings of 74 against the West Indies helped his side crush their opponents by an innings and 126 runs. According to The Guardian, Tendulkar fought back tears as he departed the field to rapturous applause at his home ground of Wankhede Stadium.
India has been in love with its most famous son for nearly 25 years, and Indian journalist Ayaz Memon was quick to touch upon this:
Congratulations in order to Tendulkar for getting the highest award in India, but the love of one billion Indians has no substitute...— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) November 16, 2013
He made a brief cameo in the West Indies innings, too, coming on to bowl a couple of overs of leg spin—much to the continued delight of the crowd.
India now face the prospect of replacing a batsman who cannot be replaced, and whose like we will never see again.
More than anyone, Tendelukar's teammates understand all that he has given them, and batsman Suresh Raina led the way in paying tribute:
No words. Just respect. Inspiration. Motivation. Greatest. Now fittingly Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar # Thank you Sachin— Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) November 16, 2013
With the recent rise of One-Day Internationals and Twenty20, Tendulkar was the last remaining player raised on the idea of Test Matches representing the ultimate cricketing achievement.
There is no question that the game of cricket will suffer greatly from his absence, much as it did when countryman Kapil Dev called time on his career.