Sachin Tendulkar quits one day internationals

The signs are that one of the greatest careers in cricket history is nearing its end. The Little Master of India, Sachin Tendulkar, has announced his retirement from one-day international cricket. He wanted to give India the chance to rebuild their team in plenty of time to defend their World Cup title in 2015.

The 39 year-old has played 463 one day internationals. "I have decided to retire from the one-day format of the game," Tendulkar said in a statement. "I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup-winning Indian team. The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest. 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."

Tendulkar's future has been in doubt for a while, with speculation fuelled by his recent poor form in the Test series against England. The New Year sees India facing challenging one day series against Pakistan then England, so Tendulkar has made his decision at a crucial time. Some observers may be intrigued that he retains the desire to continue playing Test cricket while giving up the shorter form. "I am surprised," former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar said. "If he is continuing with international cricket then he should have continued with ODIs also."

Fellow cricketers were quick to pay tribute to a player still regarded as the most talented batsman still playing. India bowler Harbhajan Singh tweeted: "Sachin Tendulkar a great batsman, great human being, a great friend, great man to look up to. Real son of India". England batsman Kevin Pietersen agreed. "Statistics NEVER lie!" he tweeted. "They tell a very true story. Well done Sachin!"

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