Sachin Tendulkar, arguably the greatest batsman in contemporary cricket, on Sunday retired from one-day internationals, bringing the curtains down on a glorious career spanning 23 years during which he re-wrote record books with his phenomenal feats. The 39-year-old Tendulkar
conveyed his decision to the BCCI, which issued a statement on his behalf to make the announcement. The champion batsman will, however, continue to play in Tests.
“I have decided to retire from the One-Day format of the game. I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup wining Indian team. The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying in the statement released by the Board.
“I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future. I am eternally grateful to all my well wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years,” he added.
Tendulkar, considered the most complete batsman in modern cricket, retires from the ODI format at the top of the run-getters’ list.
He amassed 18,426 runs in 463 one-dayers at an average of 44.83. The diminutive right-hander has an astonishing 49 hundreds in the format, including a double hundred — the first in this form of the game. Tendulkar also has a mammoth tally of 96 ODI 50s to his credit.
Tendulkar’s Test records are as awe-inspiring. The right-hander has 15,645 runs at an average of 54.32 in 194 Tests that he has played so far. The tally includes 51 hundreds and 66 half-centuries.
Tendulkar’s decision to quit the ODI format came on the day when the ODI team for the series against Pakistan was announced. There was speculation that he would play in the series to regain form ahead of the Test series against Australia.
Of late, the batting great had been under intense pressure to take a call on his future following a prolonged form slump, particularly in the Test series against England where he averaged a poor 18.66.
Tendulkar has been choosy about his ODI appearances, the last of which came in the Asia Cup in march where he completed his century of international hundreds.
Tendulkar made his ODI debut against Pakistan way back in 1989 and interestingly he is quitting the scene just ahead of another series against the arch-rivals.
The Mumbaikar, who made himself unavailable for Twenty20s after playing just one game in 2006, will now remain active in only the Test arena.
The brightest moment of his ODI career came last year when he finally became part of a World Cup winning Indian team after five previous appearances.
He was stuck on 99 international tons for quite a while after scoring two hundreds during India’s successful World Cup campaign.
The biggest compliment to his batting came from the legendary Sir Donald Bradman himself in 1999 when he said that Tendulkar’s style of playing resembled his batting style. “That touch I used to feel when I batted,” the great Australian had said.
Despite the recent slump in his form, Tendulkar’s overall tally of runs is unlikely to be matched anytime soon given that the distant second-best in the list, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, has already retired with 13,704 runs under his belt.
Sri Lanka’s retired great Sanath Jayasuriya occupies the third spot in the overall chart with 13,430 runs.
Besides his batting, Tendulkar also did service as an effective partnership-breaking bowler before a shoulder injury limited him and would be finishing his ODI career with 154 scalps, including two five-wicket hauls.