New Delhi: Twenty-four years, every conceivable record, a World Cup medal, and hundred international centuries - what more could Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and millions of his fans have asked for.
From the day he played his first game for India till today - when he retired - the man continues to baffle one and all with his class and consistency.
Here's a quick timeline of Sachin Tendulkar's career so far as he bid an emotional farewell to the game after his 200th Test on his homeground, the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai.
Here's a quick timeline of Sachin Tendulkar's career so far as he bid an emotional farewell to the game after his 200th Test on his homeground, the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai. (BCCI Images)
1989: Makes his international debut in the away series against Pakistan under the captaincy of Krishnamachari Srikkanth as a 16-year-old and scores two half-centuries in six Test innings.
1990: Scores his maiden Test century (119 not out, 17 fours) against England at Old Trafford and helps India to save the match. A quick look at the illustrious career of Sachin Tendulkar as the master blaster turns 38 on Sunday.
1991: Plays an impressive knock of 52 not against Pakistan at Sharjah which ended a series of defeats for India against their arch rivals at that venue. Also came into prominence in the same tournament as a bowler taking 4/34 against the West Indies which resulted in a comprehensive win for India.
1992: Plays a sublime innings of 114 in the Perth Test against an Aussie attack comprising of Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes, Paul Reiffel and Mike Whitney. Plays a match winning innings of 54 not out against Pakistan at Sydney in the 1992 World Cup, gets the crucial wicket of Aamir Sohail and ends up with the man of the match award. Becomes the first-ever overseas cricketer to represent Yorkshire in their County Championship.
1993: Bowls India to a memorable victory against South Africa at the Hero Cup when six runs were required to win off the last over. Scores his first Test century (165) in India at Chennai during the home series against England.
1994: Takes the world by storm as he is asked to open for the first time in one day internationals (ODI) during India's tour of New Zealand. Goes on to annihilate the Kiwi bowlers on his way to 82 off just 49 balls at Auckland's Eden Park as India level the series after losing the first match. Scores his first ODI ton in his 79th match during the Singer Cup against Australia at Colombo during a quadrilateral tournament involving hosts Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan.
1995: Signs first contract worth Rs 3.5 crore with WorldTel, for a five-year commercial endorsements and marketing deal.
1996: Scores a total of 523 runs in the World Cup hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka which includes two centuries. Also plays a major role in India's progress to the semi-finals. Takes over the captaincy from Mohammad Azharuddin after India's tour of England and leads India to victory over Australia in the one-off Test at Delhi which was followed by a Test series win over South Africa at home. India also win the Titan Cup by beating Australia and South Africa under his captaincy. Scores his 10th Test century (177) during the third Test against England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Scores his 10th ODI ton (114) during the Pepsi challenge match against South Africa at the Wankhede stadium.
1997: Leads India to a 4-1 victory over Pakistan at Toronto in the second edition of the Sahara Cup. Wins the Wisden cricketer of the year award.
1998: Scores an unbeaten 155 against Australia during the third Test at Chennai and helps India to a massive 179-run victory. Scores back to back centuries against Australia at Sharjah in a tri-series also involving New Zealand which helped India to go all the way. Brings up his 20th ODI ton at Sharjah against the Zimbabweans.
1999: Completes 8,000 runs in ODIs in his 217th match at the age of 26 years and 45 days vs Pakistan at Manchester in the World Cup. Scores his first Test double century (217 runs against New Zealand) in Ahmedabad. Brings up his 20th Test ton vs New Zealand at Mohali. Completes 50 catches in Test cricket in his 70th match vs New Zealand at Kanpur.
2000: Completes 9,000 runs in ODIs in his 242nd match at the age of 26 years and 330 days. Completes 6,000 runs in Test cricket in his 76th match vs South Africa at Bangalore.
2001: Completed 10,000 runs in ODIs in his 266th match. Becomes the first batsman in ODI history to score 10,000 runs. Brings up his 30th one-day century at Johannesburg against South Africa. Completes his 100 wickets in ODIs. Also completes a unique double of 10,000 runs and 100 wickets.
2002: Equals Sir Donald Bradman's record of 29 Test Centuries by scoring 117 vs West Indies at Port-of-Spain. In his 99th Test appearance, surpasses Bradman's record of 29 centuries scoring 193, against England at Headingly, Leeds. Only his mentor, Sunil Gavaskar is ahead of him at 34 centuries. Scores his 30th Test ton against England at Headingley, Leeds.
2003: Makes 673 runs in 11 matches in the ICC World Cup - most by any batsman in a single World Cup that wins him the player of the tournament award. Scores his 12,000th ODI run, while playing against Pakistan in the group match during the World cup.
2004: Equals Sunil Gavaskar's world record 34 Test centuries in the first match against Bangladesh. Becomes only the third player in history, after Gary Kirsten and Steve Waugh, to score centuries against all Test playing nations. Also becomes the first player in ODI history to win 50 Man of the Match awards.
2005: Completes 10,000 runs in Test cricket in his 122nd match at the age of 31 years and 326 days. Scores a record 35th hundred on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in New Delhi, surpassing Gavaskar's record.
2006: Sets a new world record by completing 14,000 one-day runs en route to his 39th century in the first one-day international against Pakistan in Peshawar. Scores his 40th ODI century at Kuala Lumpur against the West indies during a tri-series competition also including Australia. Time magazine rewards Tendulkar as one of the Asian Heroes.
2007: Rested for the first time in his career, for the three-ODI series against Bangladesh. Scores back-to-back centuries in the two following Tests. Plays in his 400th one-day international.
2008: During the second match of the CB series involving hosts Australia, India and Sri Lanka, Tendulkar becomes the first batsman to go past 16,000 runs in ODIs. Tendulkar becomes the highest run-scorer in Test cricket at Mohali against Australia, surpassing Brian Lara's tally of 11953 runs.
2009: Becomes the first batsman to aggregate 17,000 ODI runs during his innings of 175 against Australia at Hyderabad.
2010: Becomes the first batsman to score a double-century, brings up the feat in ODI vs South Africa at Gwalior. Becomes the most capped player in Test cricket, surpassing Steve Waugh's tally of 168 Tests. Brings up his 50th Test century at the Centurion against South Africa.
2011: Becomes the most capped player in ODIs with the World Cup opening game vs Bangladesh, surpassing Sanath Jayasuriya's tally of 444 matches. Hits two hundreds and is first to score 2000 runs in World Cups as India win the World Cup beating Sri Lanka in the final at Wankhede.
2012: Completes 100 international centuries in a Test match against Bangladesh on March 16, 2012. Announces ODI retirement on December 23, 2012, finishing his illustrious career having played 463 ODIs and scoring 18,426 runs with 49 centuries,
2013: Completes 50,000 international runs while playing for Mumbai Indians in the Champions League Twenty20. Quits the coloured jersey after retiring from domestic T20s as well. And announces his international retirement after his 200th Test against the West Indies.
Nov 16, 2013: The hands of the clock showed 11:46 a.m. when the last West Indies wicket fell in Sachin's 200th and final Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The moment India dreaded for over the last two years had arrived. Sachin Tendulkar, India's greatest cricketer ever, had retired.