Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketer widely regarded as the best batsman of his generation and a man revered as something of a god amongst his 1.2 billion Indian countrymen, has bid an emotional farewell to cricket, officially retiring after a victorious 200th Test Match against the West Indies yesterday at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Tendulkar made his international test debut in 1989 aged just 16, and has represented India internationally (and Mumbai in the Indian domestic league) for close to 24 years. In a tearful post-match speech, Tendulkar thanked an long list of people, including his fans, his late father and wheelchair-bound mother (who’s superstitious nature had kept her from watching her son play in person for his entire career), his wife Anjali and children Sara and Arjun, his siblings, his aunt and uncle, his parents-in-law, his teammates past and present and a multitude of others.
He was held aloft on the shoulders of captain M S Dhoni and vice-captain Virat Kohli for a lap of honour, and an equally emotional crowd chanted “Sachin… Sachin…” long after he had left the field. Tendulkar will soon become the youngest person and the only sportsman to be awarded a Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh describing him as “undoubtedly an outstanding cricketer – a living legend who has inspired millions across the globe.”
Via India Times and news.com.au. Lead image by Prakash Singh via Getty Images