(CNN) -- Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has brought down the curtain on his record-breaking one-day international career, confirming his retirement on Sunday.
The "Little Master," who has thrilled fans since he first made his debut as a raw 16-year-old back in 1989, scored an astonishing 49 centuries in the 50-over game.
The 39-year-old is the world's leading run scorer in one-day cricket, hitting 18,426 runs from his 463 matches at an average of 44.83.
Tendulkar was a key part of the India team which won the 2011 World Cup in his home city of Mumbai.
His final one-day appearance came on March 18 in which he scored 52 during the six-wicket win over Pakistan at the Asia Cup.
It was in his penultimate innings that he reached his 100th international century, a total which includes both one-day and Test match cricket, following a knock of 114 against Bangladesh.
Previously, at the age of 36, he scored the first double-century in the 50-over format since the first one-dayer was played in January 1971, hitting an unbeaten 200 against South Africa.
But following a poor Test series against England, in which he made just one half-century and averaged 18.66, Tendulkar says India must build for the future.
"I have decided to retire from the one-day format of the game," he said in a statement.
"I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup winning Indian team (in 2011).
"I am eternally grateful to all my well-wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years."
No decision has yet been made over whether Tendulkar will continue to play the five-day format following his disappointing performances during India's series defeat by England this month.
Tendulkar has scored a record 15,645 runs in 194 matches at an average of 54.32 with 51 centuries and remains a hero around the world to cricket fans.
Former India skipper Krishnamachari Srikkanth told reporters that Tendulkar's records will never be matched.
"I am surprised by his move but he is leaving ODI cricket on a high," he said.
"I am sure he will want to leave on a high in Test cricket also. He will be looking forward to a good Test series against Australia. His records cannot be surpassed."
Former captain Sourav Ganguly added: "I felt that he might have played on, but it is his decision and I think it is right.
"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."