Immediately after Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday (May 26) to win the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013, Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from Twenty20 cricket.
"This is the right time to stop playing IPL," Tendulkar said. "I am 40. I have to accept the reality. I had decided that this would be my last season. It has ended perfectly."
Tendulkar, who captained Mumbai to the final in 2010, represented the franchise in 86 matches and finished with 2529 runs, which included a century and 14 fifties. "It is never too late (to win the trophy). I thought 2010 was our best season but this is a special moment, believe me," he said. "I can't wait to get hold of the trophy. It's a beautiful trophy. It's been six years and can't wait for it."
Tendulkar played his last game for Mumbai against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Wankhede Stadium on May 13, when he was injured while batting on 38. The Little Master said that the proposition to play the inaugural match next season at his home ground was "tempting", but it was time to "say thank you very much."
Tendulkar credited the entire team for having gone through the rigours before winning the title. "We have worked hard together. There were optional practice days because of travelling and the entire team would come and practice," he said. "All the hard work has paid off. Things don't come easily. The IPL is an exciting tournament but you have to re-alter your body clock. It's been a fantastic outing for us this season."
Tendulkar acknowledged the supporters across India for having backed the team wherever Mumbai played. "Eden crowd was fantastic. Wherever we have played, the crowds have been fantastic," he said. "Till the very end, the match (final) was open and that is what the crowd turn up to see and we have been able to produce that."
Tendulkar thanked the crowd for having been behind me all through his career. "However much I thank the supporters, it won't be enough. Big thank you to all the supporters, to all the guys who have enjoyed the cricket."