Tendulkar retires from ODIs

shadiasimpson, shadiasimpson@nationnews.com

Added 24 December 2012

sachinwithworldcup1224jpg

NEW DELHI – Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from one-day cricket yesterday but wants to keep playing Tests for a rebuilding India team. “I have decided to retire from the one-day format of the game,” Tendulkar said in his announcement. “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 holds the world records for One-Day International (ODI) caps (463), runs (18 426) and centuries (49). But the 39-year-old has limited his one-day appearances in the last three years to prolong his Test career, and since India’s World Cup triumph on home soil 20 months ago he’s played in only ten matches, all in February-March this year. In his second-to-last ODI, against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, he made 114 to become the first player to achieve 100 international centuries. He hasn’t scored another century in either ODIs or Tests, drawing growing calls, as India have also struggled, for him to retire from international cricket altogether. He made his announcement as national selectors were in the process of announcing the team for the limited-overs home series against Pakistan starting tomorrow, the first series between the neighbours in five years. Former chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth said he was shocked at the timing. “Sachin’s announcement has come as a big surprise,” he told the CNN-IBN channel. “I thought he would play in the one-day series against Pakistan.” Tendulkar, who is also the world record-holder in Tests for runs (15 643) and centuries (51), had been under pressure to step down in recent months owing to the retirements of Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman as well as his own indifferent form of late. He made his ODI debut for India at 16 almost on the same date in 1989, and was the first batsman to score a double century in ODIs when he smashed 200 not out against South Africa at Gwalior in 2010, but was selective in playing one-day games after that. Tendulkar topped the run-scoring in two World Cups: 673 to ensure India made the final in 2003, and 523 when India made the semi-finals in 1996. In 2011, he was the second top run-getter (482) behind Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan (500), but winning the tournament more than made that up. “Winning the World Cup is the proudest moment of my life. . . . I couldn’t control my tears of joy,” Tendulkar said after the final at his home ground, Wankhede Stadium, on April 2 last year. (AP)

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