Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is nearing the end of his mighty career, and expectedly, the cricketing world has gone into a frenzy. The 40-year-old legend has confirmed to the BCCI that he will hang his boots after playing his 200th Test in November against the West Indies, sparking an uproar of farewell messages from all corners. It is widely speculated that the match will be played in Mumbai to offer the great cricketer a fitting farewell in front if his home fans.
In a release issued by the BCCI, Sachin said -
“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. It’s hard for me to imagine a life without playing cricket because it’s all I have ever done since I was 11 years old. It’s been a huge honour to have represented my country and played all over the world. I look forward to playing my 200th Test match on home soil, as I call it a day.”
“I thank the BCCI for everything over the years and for permitting me to move on when my heart feels it’s time. I thank my family for their patience and understanding. Most of all, I thank my fans and well-wishers who through their prayers and wishes have given me the strength to go out and perform at my best.”
There is no doubting the fact that it might feel no less than losing a part of himself when that Test match rolls to a close. Considering his immense exploits over his 24-year glittering career, cricket fans can be assured of moist eyes and a million encomiums for the man who is widely considered to be the best batsman since Donald Bradman.
While rumours have been floating around for much of this year that Sachin might be set to retire after playing his 200th Test, the great man himself was tight-lipped about his future in the game. Even after winning the recently concluded Champions League T20 tournament with his Mumbai Indians team in New Delhi, Sachin offered no hint of his intentions.
The announcement finally came when PTI broke the news a few minutes ago to send the wires into a raging inferno. Expect to read reams and reams of prose and poetry on the iconic cricketer in the days to come. Sachin has stretched the envelope so far, many believe that his records will only be glossed at for generations to come, for no man can possibly come anywhere close to getting a sniff at them.
It is safe to say that the end of his career marks the beginning of a new era for Indian cricket and its zillion fans. Watch this space for more in the next few days.
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