India, Dec. 23 -- Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar today announced retirement from ODI format, just a few hours before the selectors were to meet to pick squad for series against Pakistan, bringing to an end a glorious 23-year-old career in the format during which he rewrote numerous batting records.
"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," the 39-year-old said in a statement released by the BCCI today.
"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 and one who was considered next only to the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, retires from the ODI format at the top of the run-getters' list.
Tendulkar goes out after amassing 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 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 Twenty20 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.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.