Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian batting legend, has announced his intention to retire from the game after becoming the first player in history to reach 200 Test match appearances.
The 40-year-old contacted the Board of Cricket Control for India to reveal his decision, with Tendulkar now set to make his final appearance on an illustrious 24-year international career against the West Indies in mid-November.
India host the West Indies in a two-match series, beginning on November 6, and Tendulkar will reach his double-century milestone in the second encounter between the two sides, which starts eight days later.
Tendulkar described the decision to end his playing days as 'hard' but concluded that it is a fitting time to call it a day, while the batsman also reserved special thanks for his countless fans.
"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," Tendulkar said in a statement.
"It’s been a huge honour 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.
"I thank the BCCI for everything over the years and for permitting me to move on when my heart feels it's time! I thank my family for their patience and understanding.
"Most of all, I thank my fans and well-wishers who through their prayers and wishes have given me the strength to go out and perform at my best."
Tendulkar has scored 15,837 runs in Test matches - the most by any player in history - at an average of 53.86, while the 'little master' has recorded 51 centuries and 67 half-centuries in that time.