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Sachin Tendulkar, regarded as the greatest batsman in contemporary cricket, on Thursday (October 10) called it quits from Test cricket, announcing his retirement after his 200th match against the West Indies next month, bringing the curtains down on an extraordinary career spanning a marathon 24 years. Struggling with form for the last two years, 40-year-old Tendulkar on Thursday informed the BCCI about his decision to retire from Test cricket, putting an end to the intense speculation about his future. With his poor form, there has been increasing pressure on him to pave the way for a younger player and the decision may not have been all that surprising. Tendulkar, who has scored a monumental 15,837 runs in 198 Tests at an average of 53.86, said it was hard to imagine a life without playing cricket. "All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years. It's hard for me to imagine a life without playing cricket because it's all I have ever done since I was 11 years old," Tendulkar said in the release issued by BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel.It's been a huge honour to have represented my country and played all over the world. I look forward to playing my 200th Test Match on home soil, as I call it a day," said Tendulkar who holds the incredible record of scoring 100 international centuries. Tendulkar, who has already retired from the ODIs last year, thanked the BCCI for its support throughout his career and also for allowing him to walk into Test sunset at a time of his choosing. I thank the BCCI for everything over the years and for permitting me to move on when my heart feels it's time! I thank my family for their patience and understanding. Most of all, I thank my fans and well-wishers who through their prayers and wishes have given me the strength to go out and perform at my best," he said.In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists --Arjuna Ranatunga, Former Captain, Sri Lanka; Mihir Bose, Former Sports Editor, BBC and Author; Shailendra Singh, MD, Percept; Kishore Bhimani, Senior Sports Journalist; Hemant Kenkre, Sachin Tendulkar's first Captain; Suhel Seth, Managing Partner Counselage; Atul Wasan, Former Indian Test Cricketer; Karsan Ghavri, Former India Cricketer and Milind Rege, Former Cricketer -- discuss whether, has the Master Blaster timed his retirement right?
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