Sachin Tendulkar has announced that he will retire from international cricket after making his 200th Test appearance next month.
The India legend issued a statement through the BCCI confirming he will call time on his glittering career following the second Test against the West Indies, which starts on 14 November.
The record-breaking batsman will become the first player in history to take the field for 200 Test matches before bringing the curtain down on his 24-year international career.
"All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India," he said. "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.
"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.
"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."
The 40-year-old was just 16 when he made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1989, and he announced himself to the world stage in England the following summer with a number of superb innings, including his maiden century at Old Trafford.
Tendulkar holds almost every major batting record in Test cricket, scoring a remarkable 15,837 runs at an average in excess of 53, which is over 2,000 runs more than nearest rival, fellow great Ricky Ponting.
He became the first player to score 100 international centuries in March last year before announcing his retirement from one-day cricket to focus on his form in the five-day game.
But his form has been inconsistent over the last three years, and he has posted only one three-figure score since becoming the first man to hit 50 Test centuries against South Africa in 2010.
BCCI president N. Srinivasan led the tributes to Tendulkar, hailing him as "the greatest cricketer India has produced".
"I have been an ardent follower and admirer of Sachin Tendulkar from the days he came to play Buchi Babu in Chennai," he said in a statement.
"He is without doubt the greatest cricketer India has produced. In fact one should really say he ranks among the top of all time great sports persons in the world. No one has served Indian cricket as Sachin has."
Shane Warne also responded to the news on Twitter and said: "Sachin was easily the best player over the last 20 years & will be remembered as one of the all time greats!"
Muttiah Muralitharan, who is still the leading wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs, was also quick to pay tribute to a player with whom he had many battles over the years.
"I think it's a bad day for Indian cricket, world cricket as well," he said.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly told NDTV: "At the age of 14, all he knew was batting and he would bat all day; the coach would actually have to pull him out of the nets.
"I think that's the reason he has been successful. It's not just the talent he was born with but what he did with it."
He is on 15,837 now, but will Tendulkar reach 16,000 runs in 200 Tests?