- Sachin Tendulkar announces retirement from cricket
- 40-year-old Indian legend holds record for most runs scored in internationals
- Tendulkar will quit after playing his 200th Test match next month
- He has scored 100 centuries in Tests and one-day internationals
India's most famous sportsman Sachin Tendulkar will retire from cricket after playing his 200th Test match, he announced Thursday.
It will bring down the curtain on a glittering career which has seen him score a record 100 centuries in Tests and one day internationals since making his debut for India in 1989.
"It's been a huge honor 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," the 40-year-old said in a statement.
Tendulkar, who has played in a record 198 Test matches, can reach the 200 mark in a two-match series against the West Indies next month.
"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," he added.
The President of the Indian Cricket Board of Control, N Srinivasan, paid tribute to Tendulkar's record breaking feats.
"He is without doubt the greatest cricketer India has produced," he said.
"He has been an inspiration for generations of sportsmen not just cricketers. We respect his decision to retire although many of us can't imagine an Indian team without Sachin."
Tendulkar, a right handed batsman, will go down in history for his incredible run scoring feats, including a record 15,837 runs to date in Test matches, over 2,000 more than his closest rival, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.
In one-day internationals, Tendulkar amassed 18,426 runs, nearly 5,000 runs clear of Ponting's second best tally.
Tendulkar retired from one day internationals in December 2012 and an earlier announcement that this season would be his last in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), a Twenty20 competition, paved the way for his decision Thursday to retire from all forms of the game.
Fittingly, Tendulkar helped the Mumbai Indians franchise win this year's IPL title and also played a key role as India won cricket's World Cup on home soil in 2011.
He captained his country 98 times in Tests and one day internationals and aside from his batting feats also claimed 45 Test wickets and 154 victims in one day internationals as a bowler.
Tributes to him quickly flowed on social media, with England batsman Kevin Pietersen tweeting: Sachin #10dulkar - Undisputed Champion of Cricket! #SachinTheGreat.
Former Australian star Dean Jones made the following prediction: What odds for Sachin to score a Test ton in his last Test? #goodchance.
If Tendulkar achieved that feat it would be his 52nd in Tests and all of India will be hoping he can reach the magic three figures just one final time in his farewell matches.