INDIA great Sachin Tendulkar has announced his retirement from one-day international cricket to allow the team to build towards the defence of their World Cup crown in 2015.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed the 39-year-old, regarded as the world’s greatest living batsman, had decided to bring an end to his 50-over career after 463 one-day international caps. Tendulkar, known as the “Little Master”, spoke to BCCI president Narainswamy Srinivasan before announcing the decision.
He said in a statement on the governing body’s official website: “I have decided to retire from the one-day format of the game. I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup wining 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.”
The batsman, who made his ODI debut back in 1989, has made his decision before the upcoming matches against Pakistan and next month’s five-match one-day series at home to England. Tendulkar struggled during the recent Test series against England, passing 50 in only one innings and averaging just 18.66, and a decision over his future had been mooted.
His statement indicates he still has an appetite for Test cricket, despite speculation about his retirement from all international cricket. Tendulkar scored 18,426 ODI runs at an average of 44.83, his highest score 200n.o. against South Africa in 2010. He made 49 one-day centuries and 96 fifties.
The highlight of his ODI career was the World Cup victory on home soil in 2011. His last one-day appearance came in March against Pakistan, against whom he made his debut almost exactly 23 years ago.
Tendulkar also took 154 one-day wickets, his best return five for 32 against Australia in 1998.