Many have come forward with praise for Sachin Tendulkar after the 'Little Master' retires from the game after playing 200 tests in a record breaking 24-year career.
He is known around the world as ‘The Little Master’ and as Sachin Tendulkar stepped out to play his 200th and final test match, the greatest cricketer of his generation, if not all-time, was given a huge reception at his home ground of Mumbai.
The Indian public expect so much of Tendulkar, yet in truth he owes them nothing, his statistics have seen him lead the national side to number one on several occasions, he has led them to World Cup success and put both India and cricket on the map since his debut in 1989 at the age of just 17.
Indeed during the current test match against the West Indies, Tendulkar seemed on course for his 101st international century as he built on his overnight score of 38 not out, but he was dismissed for 74 in what could be his final innings.
There was a moment of both shock and silence inside the Wankhede Stadium when he sent a thick edge to first slip where Darren Sammy took a good catch off the bowling of Narsingh Deonarine, but whilst the disappointment of not reaching 100 for the fans he adores will be forgotten as the mood changed and he left the field to an ear-splitting crescendo of cheering and shouting.
Many great players have come out to display their admiration for Tendulkar, and no higher praise can come than that from West Indian legend, Brian Lara who led the tributes saying: “In Boxing you talk about greats and everyone thinks of Muhammad Ali, but in Cricket everybody thinks of Sachin Tendulkar, his career is simply mind-blowing.”
Others have also heaped praise on the batsman such as the Sri Lankan players in the video above, all of which have faced him at his very best.
Here are some of the numbers that set Tendulkar apart:
International debut: Nov 1989 v Pakistan.
World Record Test match appearances: 200
Highest test match run-scorer with 15,921 runs, including 51 centuries and 68 half-centuries.
World Record one-day international appearances: 463
He has scored 18,426 one-day runs at an average of 44.83 and a strike rate of 86.23.
He has scored a record 49 one-day centuries and 96 fifties.
At least two centuries against every test-playing nation, a unique record.
Cricket Fans, is Tendulkar the best you have seen play if not who is?
image: © abir82