Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has announced that he will retire after playing his 200th test match next month. The 'Little Master' holds a number of records and is revered in his home country as a sporting icon.
Announcing his impending retirement, Tendulkar said in a statement that it "had been a huge honor 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," he added.
The master batsman has played 198 test matches so far. The dates and venues of his last two matches were not yet clear, but India was scheduled to play two tests against the West Indies in November.
Tendulkar, 40, who made his test debut for India in 1989 at the age of 16, announced his retirement from one-day international cricket (ODI), a shorter form of the game, in May.
In the two decades of his career, Tendulkar has scored 34,263 runs for India in test and ODI matches, a world record. He is also the only player to have made 100 centuries in international cricket.
His iconic status in India has sometimes proved a burden to him, but in his retirement statement he thanked all his fans for their support.
"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," he said.
In 2002, the standard cricket work of reference, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, ranked Tendulkar the second-greatest test batsman of all time behind Don Bradman of Australia, and the second-greatest ODI batsman of all time after Viv Richards of the West Indies.
"He is without doubt the greatest cricketer India has produced," Indian cricket board president N. Srinivasan said.
Tendulkar is also an honorary member of the upper house of the Indian parliament.
tj/hc (AFP, dpa)