Sachin Tendulkar has retired from ODI cricket. Tendulkar finishes an illustrious career in the 50-over format, having played 463 ODIs, scored 18,426 runs and made 49 centuries, each of them a world record. His last ODI was against Pakistan in Dhaka during the Asia Cup, where he made a half-century in India's victory.
"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. The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest. I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future. I am eternally grateful to all my well wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years."
Tendulkar made his ODI debut on his first international tour, in 1989, against Pakistan in Gujranwala, where he got a duck. He scored his first half-century in his ninth ODI and made an immediate impact when promoted to open the batting in 1994, in an ODI against New Zealand in Auckland, where he smashed 82 in 49 balls. His first century took 79 ODIs to arrive but he kept piling them on with remarkable consistency. (Click here to see Tendulkar's cumulative ODI record.)
Some of the batting highlights in his ODI career include back-to-back hundreds against Australia in 1998 in a triangular tournament in Sharjah, finishing as the highest run-getter in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, and becoming the first batsman to score a double-century in the ODI format, against South Africa in February 2010.
He was part of one of India's greatest ODI achievements over the last three decades, when they won the World Cup in 2011, beating Sri Lanka in the final on his home ground in Mumbai - it was his last ODI in India. In preparation for that World Cup, Tendulkar had curtailed the amount of ODI cricket in the year playing only four ODIs in the 12 months before the tournament. Since the end of the World Cup, Tendulkar has played 10 ODIs, seven in the CB Series against Australia and the last three of his career being played at the Asia Cup in Dhaka. His innings of 114 against Bangladesh on March 16 was his 100th international hundred in what turned out to be Tendulkar's penultimate ODI match for India.
Tendulkar's announcement of his ODI retirement came through a statement from the BCCI which stated that he had spoken to BCCI president N Srinivasan. His retirement was announced on the day the Indian selectors picked the teams to play in the five-match T20 and ODI series against Pakistan.
"It was not sudden. He informed us before the selection about his decision," Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary, told reporters. "He spoke to me and the president about his decision. Naturally he must have been (emotional) I can't say we just spoke on the phone."
"What he has expressed is his concern that India has to prepare for the next World Cup," the BCCI's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty added. "From that point of view, he felt that it was time that he retired."