India’s ‘God of Cricket’ Is Retiring

Sachin Tendulkar will step away from the sport next month

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Indian students hold a large poster of Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar after Tendulkar batted for his landmark 100th century, at a school in Chennai, southern India, March 16, 2012.

Legendary cricket batsman Sachin Tendulkar will retire from the sport next month.

The 40-year-old former India captain, profiled by TIME last year as the “God of Cricket” and “the world’s best cricketer,” will end his career with two matches against West Indies, which will make 200 Tests for his career, BBC reports.

Tendulkar is the highest scorer in both Tests and One Day Internationals, with 15,837 runs in 198 Tests and 18,426 runs in 463 ODI’s. He made his international debut in 1989, when he was 16, and last year became the only batsman in the history of the game to reach 100 international centuries.

“All my life I have had a dream of playing cricket for India,” said Tendulkar according to the BBC. “I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years.”

The president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, said Tendulkar “has truly been an ambassador for India and Indian cricket. He has been an inspiration for generations of sportsmen, not just cricketers. We respect his decision to retire, although many of us can’t imagine an Indian team without Sachin.”