Sachin Tendulkar, an Indian cricket legend, announced Thursday that he will retire from the sport after playing in his 200th test next month.
Tendulkar, 40, is highly revered in India, where cricket overshadows other sports. The batsman has been referred as the little master — he stands at 5-foot-5 — and the ‘God of cricket’ for his prolific 24-year career.
India’s 24-hour news stations have dedicated much of their coverage to Tendulkar’s announcement, even interrupting broadcasts of prominent politicians.
The Telegraph’s Nick Hoult provided an example in his article:
Rahul Gandhi, a member of India’s greatest political dynasty and a strong candidate to become prime minister next year, was wiped off screen in the middle of a speech as the greats of cricket and the ordinary Indian fan hailed the 40-year-old.
Many leading cricketers and Indian celebrities paid tribute to Tendulkar including former England captain Michael Vaughan, who called Tendulkar “one of the greatest ever.” (Read more reactions at BBC Sport.)
“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 posted by the BCCI, which governs cricket in India. “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.”