Sachin Tendulkar to retire after his 200th Test, gives his fans two more games to watch him

  • Sanjjeev K Samyal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 11, 2013 23:14 IST
  • Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for India at the age of 16 years and 205 days. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for India at the age of 16 years and 205 days. (Getty Images)

  • Sachin Tendulkar, in his first tour to Pakistan in 1989, was out for a duck on debut for India in Karachi. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin Tendulkar, in his first tour to Pakistan in 1989, was out for a duck on debut for India in Karachi. (Getty Images)

  • Early on in his career, his extremely youthful appearence often belied the keen cricketing mind that lay beneath. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Early on in his career, his extremely youthful appearence often belied the keen cricketing mind that lay beneath. (Getty Images)

  • Sachin reacts after getting his century against Kenya in the 1999 World Cup. India won by 94 runs. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin reacts after getting his century against Kenya in the 1999 World Cup. India won by 94 runs. (Getty Images)

  • A young Sachin poses just before a Test series against Pakistan in India in 1989. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    A young Sachin poses just before a Test series against Pakistan in India in 1989. (Getty Images)

  • Sachin went from being the youngest player on the team for a long time to one of the senior-most over a marathon career. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin went from being the youngest player on the team for a long time to one of the senior-most over a marathon career. (Getty Images)

  • A young Sachin gears up to face the legendary Pakistani pace attack in 1989. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    A young Sachin gears up to face the legendary Pakistani pace attack in 1989. (Getty Images)

  • June 1990: Sachin in action during a net session at Headingley in Leeds, England. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    June 1990: Sachin in action during a net session at Headingley in Leeds, England. (Getty Images)

  • With 100 international centuries, most of Sachin

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    With 100 international centuries, most of Sachin's records are set to remain intact for a long, long, long time. (Getty Images)

  • In the 1990 tour of Pakistan, a Waqar Younis bouncer broke his nose. Refusing medical aid, Sachin wiped away the gushing blood, and went on to score 57. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    In the 1990 tour of Pakistan, a Waqar Younis bouncer broke his nose. Refusing medical aid, Sachin wiped away the gushing blood, and went on to score 57. (Getty Images)

  • Before making his debut in international cricket, Sachin stitched a 664-run unbroken partnership with Vinod Kambli in a domestic match. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Before making his debut in international cricket, Sachin stitched a 664-run unbroken partnership with Vinod Kambli in a domestic match. (Getty Images)

  • Sachin

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin's unbeaten 119 against England at Old Trafford was not only his first ton, his determined batting also saved the Test for India. (Getty Images)

  • A young Sachin is applauded by England players as he walks off the field after a Test match. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    A young Sachin is applauded by England players as he walks off the field after a Test match. (Getty Images)

  • Abdul Qadir, the Pakistani leggie, had thought he would rattle the baby-faced India debutante by throwing him a challenge. The sixes Sachin hit off the spinner in response clearly heralded the arrival of a genius. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Abdul Qadir, the Pakistani leggie, had thought he would rattle the baby-faced India debutante by throwing him a challenge. The sixes Sachin hit off the spinner in...

  • Sachin at the Oval during India

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    Sachin at the Oval during India's tour of England in 1990. He would get his first Test century in this series. (Getty Images)

  • Sachin had to wait for a year before he scored his first Test century. (Getty Images)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin had to wait for a year before he scored his first Test century. (Getty Images)

  • Sachin, as the captain of India with Australian Prime Minister John Howard and others of the team. Though he has had two stints as captain, they were not the team

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin, as the captain of India with Australian Prime Minister John Howard and others of the team. Though he has had two stints as captain, they were not the team's most...

  • Sachin as the Indian captain with Steve Waugh, captain of Australia and Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya at a press conference at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Hamish Blair/Allsport. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin as the Indian captain with Steve Waugh, captain of Australia and Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya at a press conference at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo, Sri...

  • Throughout his career, Sachin has been known for the beauty and the fluidity of the shots he played. Adrian Murrell/Allsport. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Throughout his career, Sachin has been known for the beauty and the fluidity of the shots he played. Adrian Murrell/Allsport. Getty Images.

  • Sachin has also remained a rather handy part time slow bowler for India. Darren England/Allsport. Getty Image.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin has also remained a rather handy part time slow bowler for India. Darren England/Allsport. Getty Image.

  • Tendulkar relaxes after a session at the nets in the Fosters Oval ahead of a one day international match. Adrian Murrell/Allsport. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Tendulkar relaxes after a session at the nets in the Fosters Oval ahead of a one day international match. Adrian Murrell/Allsport. Getty Images.

  • When Sachin was only 14, Gavaskar had already become the first batsman to score 10,000 runs. Sachin often used the original Little Master as a sounding board during the England tour in 1990. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    When Sachin was only 14, Gavaskar had already become the first batsman to score 10,000 runs. Sachin often used the original Little Master as a sounding board during the...

  • Sachin bats against the Minor Counties in Trowbridge. He became the first non-Yorkshireman to play for the Yorkshire county in 1992. Ben Radford/Allsport. Getty Images

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin bats against the Minor Counties in Trowbridge. He became the first non-Yorkshireman to play for the Yorkshire county in 1992. Ben Radford/Allsport. Getty Images

  • Sachin during a Test match against Australia. The Master Blaster rarely plays without the headgear, even against spinners, since he was pushed up the order in the

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin during a Test match against Australia. The Master Blaster rarely plays without the headgear, even against spinners, since he was pushed up the order in the '90s....

  • Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar with the trophy after winning the series against Australia at home. Despite early victories against Australia and South Africa, his spell as captain saw both the maestro

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar with the trophy after winning the series against Australia at home. Despite early victories against Australia and South Africa, his spell...

  • A young Sachin poses with stalwarts Kapil Dev and Mohammed Azharuddin in Pakistan. Allsport UK /Allsport. Getty Images.

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    A young Sachin poses with stalwarts Kapil Dev and Mohammed Azharuddin in Pakistan. Allsport UK /Allsport. Getty Images.

  • Sachin favors the Ultralite Morrant pads, first presented to him by another cricketing legend, Sunil Gavaskar. Mark Thompson/Allsport. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin favors the Ultralite Morrant pads, first presented to him by another cricketing legend, Sunil Gavaskar. Mark Thompson/Allsport. Getty Images.

  • Sachin during a Test match against Australia. His average against the Ausies is a whopping 55 in Tests and 46.3 in ODIs. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin during a Test match against Australia. His average against the Ausies is a whopping 55 in Tests and 46.3 in ODIs. Getty Images.

  • Though he has reached the pinacle of success in the sport and is one of the most celebrated cricketers in history, humility remains his greatest asset. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Though he has reached the pinacle of success in the sport and is one of the most celebrated cricketers in history, humility remains his greatest asset. Getty Images.

  • For someone of his small frame, Sachin plays with one of the heaviest bats. His current willow weighs 1250 to 1300gms. Shaun Botterill /Allsport. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    For someone of his small frame, Sachin plays with one of the heaviest bats. His current willow weighs 1250 to 1300gms. Shaun Botterill /Allsport. Getty Images.

  • An advertisement showing Sachin during the 1996 World Cup in India. As of 2012, he earns $16.5 million every year from endorsements. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    An advertisement showing Sachin during the 1996 World Cup in India. As of 2012, he earns $16.5 million every year from endorsements. Getty Images.

  • Sachin signs cricket bats for fans. The status he enjoys in India is literally godlike. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin signs cricket bats for fans. The status he enjoys in India is literally godlike. Getty Images.

  • The path has not always been easy for the genius though. A tennis elbow injury in 2005 almost threatened to finish his career off. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    The path has not always been easy for the genius though. A tennis elbow injury in 2005 almost threatened to finish his career off. Getty Images.

  • Tendulkar walks off the pitch after being dismissed by Ben Hilfenhaus. Though he is the only man to have scored 100 tons, 47 of those have come for a losing cause. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Tendulkar walks off the pitch after being dismissed by Ben Hilfenhaus. Though he is the only man to have scored 100 tons, 47 of those have come for a losing cause. Getty...

  • Sachin

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin's stumps are rattled in a one day match. Glen McGrath and Muttiah Muralitharan are the bowlers who have dismissed him the most number of times (13 each). Getty...

  • Though compliments have been showered on him from all quarters, the cherry on the top came when cricket

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Though compliments have been showered on him from all quarters, the cherry on the top came when cricket's all time great Sir Don Bradman said Sachin reminded him of his...

  • Sachin leaves the field after being dismissed during a One Day International match against Sri Lanka. The master hung up his ODI boots in December 2012. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin leaves the field after being dismissed during a One Day International match against Sri Lanka. The master hung up his ODI boots in December 2012. Getty Images.

  • Sachin watches on from the Royal Box on Centre Court on day 11 of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. Always a tennis fan, Sachin once looked upon John McEnroe as his idol. Getty Images.

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Sachin watches on from the Royal Box on Centre Court on day 11 of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. Always a tennis fan, Sachin once looked upon John McEnroe as...

  • A wax figure of cricket star Sachin Tendulkar is displayed at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney. (AFP)

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    A wax figure of cricket star Sachin Tendulkar is displayed at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney. (AFP)

  • Sachin waves the Indian tricolour as he celebrates his team

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    Sachin waves the Indian tricolour as he celebrates his team's victory over Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final. AFP

  • Anjali Tendulkar, wife of Sachin Tendulkar, offers him a piece of cake during his 40th birthday celebrations in Kolkata, India. (AP Photo)

    Happy Birthday Maestro!

    Anjali Tendulkar, wife of Sachin Tendulkar, offers him a piece of cake during his 40th birthday celebrations in Kolkata, India. (AP Photo)

The news of Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement was expected for some time, but when it did come, there was a sense of numbness. And, that is how it would be felt across India and the rest of the cricketing world. Hailed a genius on his international debut, his achievements with the bat and fame have transcended the game.

That is because ever since he burst on to the scene as a 16-year-old in 1989, he has entertained cricket fans like few others have. In return, the cricketing world, from Sydney Cricket Ground to Sabina Park, have loved him like one of their own.

Across nations, his runs were celebrated and strokes applauded. The rousing reception the announcement of his name elicited was not restricted to hometown Mumbai – they were equally thunderous in England, Australia or South Africa.

The crowd reaction settled all debate as to who was the greatest – for no one else in this generation commanded such popularity. When it came to Tendulkar nationality never mattered.

Read more: A 100 Hundreds and Counting

Read more: Full text of Sachin's letter to BCCI

The 200th Test against West Indies will ring the curtain down on the career of the most prolific batsman since Don Bradman - scoring 15,837 runs in 198 Tests at an average of 53.86. Not for nothing did Wisden call him contemporary cricket's most "wholesome" batsman.

If Bradman’s average of 99.94 made him beyond comparison, Tendulkar is the only batsman to score 100 international hundreds. Neither feat is likely to be bettered.

"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," Tendulkar said in the release issued by the BCCI.

Tendulkar was omnipresent at the Saurashtra Cricket Association, stadium, where India played Australia in a T20 game on Thursday evening.



Read more: The A to Z of Sachin Tendulkar

Read more: Sachin's 100 milestones

A tinge of sadness engulfed the arena. At the entrance to the stadium, his biggest fan Sudhir Kumar, the bald man who is always in the stands with his bare body painted in white with Tendulkar’s name on his chest, had the message: Miss u Tendulkar.

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his 100th century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in 2012.(PTI photo)

Tendulkar, for India, was beyond numbers. The entire nation celebrated and cried with him. If he was doing well, it lifted the mood of the nation. When he failed, everyone sulked.

When he came to the crease, the nation ground to a halt. As Ramachandra Guha wrote in A Corner of a Foreign Field, when Tendulkar batted against Pakistan, India’s TV audience exceeded the population of Europe.

Any cricket fan younger than 24 cannot imagine Indian cricket without Tendulkar. The vacuum in their lives will be incredible. It won’t be any better for those who are older, those who have been watching, entranced, his career, for nearly the past quarter of a century.

Sachin at a practice session at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in May 2012.(PTI photo)

PHOTO GALLERY: Sachin calls it a day

The excitement of waiting for an India game with Tendulkar to bat - the straight drives, pulls and flicks lit their lives.

His form in Tests has been poor since January 2011. There was speculation that the Indian cricket board would push him into retirement.

N Srinivasan had clarified that he had no such intention. Good for the Board chief that he did so on time, given the sentiment Tendulkar evokes all across the country.

Tendulkar had always said he will retire when he feels it’s time.

He was not known to be contemplating immediate retirement, but something while playing the Champions League Twenty20 seems to have helped him firm up the decision.

He did not wait long. His close friends were immediately informed (a couple of days ago).

We have two more Tests in which to watch him. Till his 200th – cricket’s currently most anticipated and momentous event – takes place in an as yet unknown city in India.

That will be all. The memories will last us a lifetime. But those won’t fill the void he will leave behind.

Sachin Tendulkar's retirement: from a cartoonist viewpoint

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Read more:
Happy that Sachin is retiring on his own terms: Achrekar

Political class wants Sachin to now attend Parliament

Cricketers pay glowing tributes to Tendulkar

Sachin ranks among top of all-time great athletes: Srinivasan

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