Sachin Tendulkar: Right time to retire

Sachin Tendulkar: Right time to retire

Sachin Tendulkar admits it has yet to sink in that his professional cricket career has ended, but insists it was the right time to bow out.

The former India batsmen is one of the most revered figures to ever play the game, and brought an end to a glittering Test career with a knock of 74 as India thrashed West Indies by an innings and 126 runs in Mumbai on Saturday to wrap up a 2-0 series victory.

Tendulkar made his Test debut aged just 16 against Pakistan in Karachi, and went on to make a record 51 centuries in the longest form of the game, and has amassed 15,921 runs in total.

And the man dubbed 'Little Master' says his passion for cricket has not waned, but injuries have taken their toll.

"It hasn't struck me that I won't play cricket again," he said. "There is no regret that I am leaving cricket.

"I was enjoying cricket still. I have always said the day I felt I should stop playing, I would inform you. After 24 years, you have to appreciate (I) had many injuries that were not easy to overcome.

"You reach a stage when your body gives you a message, enough of this physical load.

"Cricket has been my life, it is oxygen to me. There will be some association with the game, maybe not in the immediate future.

"I played cricket for 24 years for India, and that was a great thing for me. I faced lots of challenges, but the desire to play for India was so strong that we came up with solutions to those challenges.”

Tendulkar also stated that he was not "emotional" when he first announced his decision to step away from the sport, but Saturday's experience at the Wankhede Stadium had brought him to tears.

"I remember when I was taking the decision about retiring, I wasn't as emotional since I knew it was the right decision," he added. "I became emotional seeing the sort of send-off the players gave me.

"I think the thought that I won't be able to go back in the middle to represent India that made me emotional.

"The first moment when I went on the wicket and stood between the 22 yards, I realised this was the last time I was in front of a packed stadium as part of the Indian team.

"While I walked back to the dressing room, I didn't look up when shaking hands with many of the West Indies team members, because I was in tears."

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