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Tendulkar bids farewell in Mumbai
November 15, 2013, 11:22 am


The legendary batsman said last month that it would be “hard imagine a life without playing cricket because it’s all I’ve ever done since I was 11 years old” [AP]

Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed for 74 at his home ground in Mumbai during the last match of his illustrious career.

The legendary batsman announced his retirement from all forms of cricket last month after retiring from one-day international cricket late last year.

The 40-year-old batsman was awarded the country’s highest civilian honour – the Bharat Ratna – after India’s victory over the West Indies on Saturday.

He is the first sportsman to win the award. Previous winners of the Bharat Ratna include Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Indira Gandhi.

Tendulkar was 26 runs short of his 101st international century in his 200th Test match before he edged part-time West Indies offspinner Narsingh Deonarine to slip to be dismissed.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of the heart and say the memories that you’ve left with me will always be with me for ever and ever” said Tendulkar during a speech after the match.

Tendulkar is the highest scorer in both Tests and ODIs (one-day internationals), with 15,921 Test runs and 18,426 runs in ODIs.

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“An inspiration for generations of sportsmen”

The legendary batsman said last month that it would be hard to “imagine a life without playing cricket because it’s all I’ve ever done since I was 11 years old,” in a statement to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).

“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” said Tendulkar.

Current captain of the Indian national cricket team MS Dhoni spoke highly of Tendulkar on the eve of the Mumbai match.

“With due respect to the greats of earlier generation, they didn’t have to face the kind of pressure Tendulkar faced. It was not only about his success but how he handled it in all these years.

“I have seen a lot of foreign players who can handle on-field success but when it came to handling the off-field pressure, they buckled down. That’s what makes Tendulkar special” said Dhoni.

Tendulkar has hit 51 tons and 68 half-centuries in his test career and 49 centuries and 96 fifties in ODIs.

BCCI President Narayanaswami Srinivasan said in a statement after the batsman announced his retirement that he had been an ardent follower and admirer of Tendulkar.

“He is without doubt the greatest cricketer India has produced. In fact one should really say he ranks among the top of all time great sports persons in the world. No one has served Indian cricket as Sachin has.

“He has truly been an ambassador for India and Indian Cricket. He has been an inspiration for generations of sportsmen not just cricketers. We respect his decision to retire although many of us can’t imagine an Indian team without Sachin” said Srinivasan.

Matthew Sanderson in London for The BRICS Post

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