The Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar ended his 24-year cricket career in his 200th and final test match against West Indies in Mumbai today.
Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement form One Day Internationals on 23rd December 2012 and Indian Premier League cricket 26th May 2013. On 10th October 2013, he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket after the two-test series against West Indies in November.
The test match was Tendulkar’s 200th test match. On his request, the BCCI scheduled the match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which is his home ground.
The last match facts
- In preparation for the final test, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) made every effort to make this test match a memorable one in honour of Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar’s wheelchair bound mother has never seen her son play international cricket. The MCA built a ramp for her to access the President’s box.
- The MCA named their new ground as Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana Club.
- There were huge Tendulkar cutouts displayed throughout Wankhede Stadium depicting the 24 years of his cricket career during the last test match.
- Each ticket to the match had his photograph and a list of the scores of his 51 international test centuries.
- Online travel portal Musafir organised 200 TAB cabs to provide free rides to the stadium from 14th to 18th November. This was on a first come first serve basis where fans had to show their match tickets to gain the free ride from the designated pickup points.
- On Day 1 of the match, Indian captain MS Dhoni flipped a special gold coin during the toss which had Tendulkar’s image on one side and the MCA logo on the other side. This coin was presented to Tendulaker as a memento.
- Kapil Sibal, Indian minister for Communications and Information Technology unveiled Tendulkar’s postal stamp. He is the second Indian after Mother Theresa to have a postal stamp released during their lifetime.
The Prime Minister’s Office announced that Sachin Tendulkar will be conferred the Bharat Ratna award for his outstanding contribution to cricket.
“Sachin Tendulkar is an inspirational figure, and a role model for all sportspersons. He richly deserves the Bharat Ratna. I extend my heartiest congratulations to him,” said N. Srinivasan, President of the BCCI.
The Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award for performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour. Tendulkar is the first sportsperson and the youngest to be awarded with this civilian honour.
The Farewell Speech
Sachin Tendulkar gave a tearful farewell speech where he thanked several people who have been a part of his life and career.