One of the game's all-time greats, Sachin Tendulkar, today announced his retirement from one-day cricket, bringing to an end a glorious 23-year-old career in the format during which he rewrote numerous batting records.
"I have decided to retire from the One-Day format of the game. I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup wining Indian team. The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest," the 39-year-old said in a statement released by the BCCI today.
"I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future. I am eternally grateful to all my well wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years," he added.
Tendulkar, considered the most complete batsman in modern cricket and one who was considered next only to the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, retires from the ODI format at the top of the run-getters' list.
Tendulkar goes out after amassing 18,426 runs in 463 one-dayers at an average of 44.83. The diminutive right-hander has an astonishing 49 hundreds in the format, including a double hundred -- the first in this form of the game.
Tendulkar made his ODI debut against Pakistan way back in 1989 and interestingly he is quitting the scene just ahead of another series against the arch-rivals.
The Mumbaikar, who made himself unavailable for Twenty20 after playing just one game in 2006, will now remain active in only the Test arena.
The brightest moment of his ODI career came last year when he finally became part of a World Cup winning Indian team after five previous appearances.
Speculation over Tendulkar's future had grown after his continuing failures in the past one year.
His last ODI hundred came in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March this year -- a feat that completed an unprecedented 100 international tons.
He was stuck on 99 tons for quite a while after scoring two hundreds during India's successful World Cup campaign. Tendulkar also has an mammoth tally of 96 ODI 50s to his credit.
Despite the recent slump in his form, Tendulkar's overall tally of runs is unlikely to be matched anytime soon given that the distant second-best in the list, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, has already retired from the game with 13,704 runs under his belt.
Sri Lanka's retired great Sanath Jayasuriya occupies the third spot in the overall chart with 13,430 runs.
Besides his batting, Tendulkar was an effective partnership-breaking bowler and finishes his ODI career with 154 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls.
Tendulkar's Test records are as awe-inspiring. The right-hander has 15,645 runs at an average of 54.32 in 194 Tests that he has played so far. The tally includes 51 hundreds and 66 half-centuries.
Hailing Tendulkar's contribution to cricket, BJP said the nation will remain grateful to him and the living legend will remain a "Bharat Ratna" in the hearts of the people.