India legend Sachin Tendulkar bids an emotional farewell to cricket
Sachin Tendulkar bid an emotional farewell to cricket after playing his 200th and final Test match for India.
Last Updated: 16/11/13 2:54pm
Tendulkar scored 74 in the first innings of their 126-run win over the West Indies in Mumbai, the margin of victory meaning he was unable to bat again in front of his adoring fans.
But the match was almost a sideshow to the departure of Tendulkar from a sport he has dominated for almost a quarter of a century and he was keen to thank all those who have supported him throughout his stellar career.
"Settle down, let me talk, I will get more and more emotional," he asked the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium.
"My life for 24 years, it's hard to believe that wonderful journey is coming to an end.
"I want to thank all the people who have flown in here from various parts of the world and supported me endlessly, whether I score a zero or I scored 100-plus.
"Your support was so dear to me and it meant a lot.
"I have met so many guys who have fasted for me, prayed for me. Without all that, life would not have been like this for me.
"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and also say that time has flown by rather quickly.
"But the memories you have left with me will be with me for ever and ever, especially (cries of) 'Sachin, Sachin'. That will reverberate in my ears until I stop breathing.
"Thank you all very much. Goodbye."
Tendulkar also paid tribute to his team-mates and backed the next generation of Indian cricketers to do their country proud.
"You are like my family away from home, I have had some wonderful times with you," he added.
"It's going to be difficult not to be part of the dressing room sharing those special moments.
"All the coaches for their guidance, it's been special for me.
"I know when MS Dhoni presented me with the 200th Test match cap on the day one morning. I had a brief message for the team, I would like to repeat that.
"I just feel that all of us are so, so fortunate and proud to be part of the Indian cricket team.
"Each generation gets this opportunity to merely take care of the sport and to serve it to the best of our ability.
"I have full faith in you that you will continue to serve the nation in the right spirit to the best of your ability and bring all the laurels to your country."