India maestro Sachin Tendulkar reflected on a "blessed" chapter in his storied and stellar career after confirming his retirement from one-day internationals.
The 39-year-old, regarded as the world's greatest living batsman, said he hoped the move would allow India to build toward the defence of their World Cup crown in 2015.
"I have decided to retire from the one-day format of the game," Tendulkar said on the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) official website. "I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup-winning Indian team."
The 'Little Master' brings an end to his 50-over career after 463 ODI caps which gleaned 18,426 runs at an average of 44.83, his highest score an unbeaten 200 against South Africa in 2010.
He made 49 one-day centuries and 96 fifties, while the highlight of his ODI career was the World Cup victory on home soil in 2011. Tendulkar also took 154 one-day wickets, his best return five for 32 against Australia in 1998.
He added: "The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in 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 struggled during the recent Test series against England, passing 50 in only one innings and averaging just 18.66, and a decision over his future had been mooted. Ratnakar Shetty, the chief administrative officer of the BCCI, said the board was not surprised to receive the news of Tendulkar's retirement.
"Tendulkar's decision is not a shocker for BCCI," Shetty told reporters. "He was waiting for the right time. What he has expressed is his concern that India has to prepare for the next World Cup. From that point of view, he felt that it was time that he retired."
India spinner Harbhajan Singh was quick to pay tribute to one the world's best cricketers and he said on Twitter: "Sachin tendulkar a great batsman.great human being.a great friend.great man to look up 2.proud indian.Real son of india.I salute u and love u.
"Masters.423 matches, 23 yrs, 18426 runs !!!! These numbers no body else will be able to come close to.salute salute salute to sachin."