Tributes pour in for Tendulkar

Mumbai, Dec 23 (IANS) Tributes have started pouring in for master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who called time Sunday on his staggering one-day cricket career.

Tendulkar, who holds the record for the maximum number of appearances and being the highest run-getter and century-maker in both forms of the game, decided to retire just ahead of the home series against Pakistan beginning Dec 25.

"I felt that he would play the series against Pakistan. But it is his decision and I think it is the right one," said his contemporary and former India captain Sourav Ganguly.

"There was a doubt on whether he would play ODI cricket or not. But I am not surprised by his decision. He has done what he thought was right.

"I don't think there was any pressure of selectors on him. It is his own decision. No one can drop him," Ganguly added.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh wrote on Twitter: "Sachin Tendulkar. A great batsman. A great human being. A great friend. A great man to look up to. The real son of India. I salute and love you."

Reflecting on Tendulkar's career statistics, Harbhajan added: "463 matches, 23 years, 18426 runs !!!! No one else will be able to come close to these numbers."

Cancer survivor Yuvraj Singh wrote: "It is an emotional time! Letting Sachin go from one dayers! 18 thousand plus runs. Your jaw drops when you see those records, master you will always live in my heart and fellow Indians! The pride of our country, I salute to you for your contribution to Indian cricket."

Former India opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth said he was surprised by Tendulkar's decision.

"I am surprised by his move but he is leaving ODI cricket on a high. I am sure he would want to leave on a high in Test cricket too. He will be looking forward to a good Test series against Australia," said Srikkanth.

"It is easy for us to say that he could have retired after the 2011 World Cup. He has got his 100th century in the Asia Cup. His records cannot be surpassed," he added.

Dilip Vengsarkar said if Tendulkar was carrying on with Tests, he should have continued playing in the 50-over format.

"If he is continuing with international cricket then he should have continued with ODIs also. India play around 25 ODIs in a season. It is very important to keep playing at the highest level," said the right-hand batsman.

"In ODIs, he opens the innings against bowling of highest quality. It keeps him in the groove. I am surprised he opted out of ODIs.

"As long as he is playing Tests or international cricket, he should have continued playing in ODIs," Vengsarkar said.

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla tweeted: "Conclusion of a sterling ODI career from a wonderful batsman. Congrats Sachin Tendulkar."

The world outside cricketing circles too showered praise on the batting maestro.

"End of an era as Sachin retires from one-dayers. Hats off to 23 years of cricketing genius!" said Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan.

Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor wrote: "He probably will be the greatest sportsman India ever produced."

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