Batting genius Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday completed 22 marathon years in international cricket, still awaiting a record 100th international ton. The Mumbaikar has gone without a century for the last eight months.
It was it was on Nov 15, 1989 that a shy 16-year-old Tendulkar made his debut for India under Krishnamachari Srikkanth in the Karachi Test against Pakistan, with cricketing pundits immediately professing the advent of a talent capable of breaking all batting records in the years to come. He made his ODI debut in the same tour at Gujranwala, and has never looked back.
Tendulkar now lies ninth in the list of players with the longest careers in Test cricket. English all-rounder Wilfred Rhodes holds the unique record of representing his country for 30 years 315 days from June 1, 1899 to April 12, 1930.
Englishmen Dennis Brown Close and Frank Wooley occupy the second and third place respectively. Close played Test cricket for 26 years 356 days, while Wooley's career spanned 25 years 13 days.
Others ahead of Tendulkar are George Headley (West Indies), John Traicos (South Africa and Zimbabwe), Jack Hobbs (England), Geroge Gunn (England) and Syd Gregory (England).
With 15,086 runs under his belt in 183 Tests (till the first innings of the ongoing match against West Indies at Eden Gardens) and 18,111 in 453 ODIs, Tendulkar holds the record for the maximum number of appearances and being the highest run-getter in both forms. He also has to his credit the most number of hundreds - 51 in Tests and 48 in ODIs.
At 38 years, he is the second oldest Indian still playing international cricket after team mate Rahul Dravid.
Having carried the aspirations of millions of fans for over two decades, defying a number of injuries -- including a career threatening tennis elbow -- Tendulkar has emerged possibly one of the greatest icons the country has produced in all spheres of life.