Sachin Tendulkar will be given the send-off his glittering career deserves after it was confirmed that the Indian legend’s 200th and final Test match will be played at his home ground in Mumbai against the West Indies next month.
Tendulkar is widely-regarded by fans who know how to bet on cricket as one of the best batsmen to grace the game – if not the very best – but, at the age of 40, he recently revealed it was time for him to retire, putting an end to a wonderful 24-year international career at the top.
Nicknamed ‘The Little Master’, he is cricket’s highest-ever run-scorer with 15,837 Test runs and 18,426 in one-day internationals, and a true icon of the modern game, worshipped by the millions of cricket fans in his home country.
He had requested his final Test match be played at his familiar Wankhede Stadium and he was granted his wish after the Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed the venue for the second Test.
Tendulkar’s impending exit from the game – as a player at least – has been a major talking point in India since he announced his plans last week and his final appearance for his country will generate plenty of attention.
The legend made his India debut as a highly-rated 16-year-old way back in 1989 and it was clear pretty soon afterwards that he had all the attributes to become one of the best players around. His natural, often effortless style earned him fans all around the world and, at his best, he was a joy to watch.
He became the first player to score 100 international centuries in March last year, while he also holds the record for Test appearances, standing at 197.
The opener can still upset the cricket betting odds on his day but age has been catching up with him in recent years and he’s struggled to reguarly find his scintillating best form in the past three years. Sadly for his fans, Tendulkar has managed just one century since his effort against South Africa in 2010, and his retirement had seemed inevitable this year.
He will first play his 199th Test in the series opener between the two sides at Eden Gardens in Kolkata from November 6, before what will be an emotional Test in Mumbai that is likely to be completely overshadowed by Tendulkar’s presence for the final time at the crease.
The tributes will then pour in for a true great of the game, the likes of which we will struggle to see again.