Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has confirmed that he will retire from international cricket following his 200th Test match appearance next month.
Tendulkar, who has already retired from One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals, will make the two-match series against the West Indies his last.
He made his Test debut in 1989 and has subsequently scored more runs, more centuries and played in more matches than any other player in the history of the game.
He has scored 15,837 runs with 51 centuries at an average of 53.86 and also had two spells captaining India.
Inspired to take up the game by the 1983 World Cup success, he played a key role in India winning the 2011 World Cup on home soil, shortly after he had helped them achieve the number one Test ranking.
"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," Tendulkar said in a statement released by the Indian board (BCCI).
"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. 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."
BCCI President N Srinivasan, paying tribute, added: "I have been an ardent follower and admirer of Sachin Tendulkar from the days he came to play Buchi Babu in Chennai.
"He is without doubt the greatest cricketer India has produced. In fact one should really say he ranks among the top of all time great sports persons in the world. No one has served Indian cricket as Sachin has.
"He has truly been an Ambassador for India and Indian Cricket. He has been an inspiration for generations of sportsmen not just cricketers.
"We respect his decision to retire although many of us can't imagine an Indian team without Sachin."
India play the West Indies in two Tests, the first beginning on 6th November and the second on 14th November.
© Cricket World 2013