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Cricket: David Richardson has paid tribute to the retiring Sachin Tendulkar

Tendulkar's Test career began back in 1989

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International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson says watching Sachin Tendulkar's career unfold has been a great privilege.

Tendulkar retired from international cricket following India's victory over West Indies in the second Test in Mumbai, which they wrapped up on Saturday.

The 40-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable 24-year career in international cricket and former South Africa wicket-keeper Richardson played against him on many occasions.

Richardson said: "He was an exceptional cricketer who earned the utmost respect of his peers, team-mates, opponents and fans all over the world through his talent, performances and fierce competitiveness.

"His 664 internationals, 34,357 runs and 100 centuries, over 24 years, not only illustrate his determination and commitment to the game but also his mental and physical toughness, which are the vital ingredients to reach the highest pedestal in any sport.

"Sporting geniuses like Sachin are rare phenomenons and we are privileged to have seen him in action.

"On behalf of the ICC and the entire cricketing family, I thank Sachin for his unprecedented services to our sport and we wish him well in the future."

Richardson also took the opportunity to note some of Tendulkar's many individual accomplishments.

"Sachin always put his team ahead of himself during his illustrious career," he added. "But he picked up a number of personal accolades, which highlight his brilliance.

"He was declared player of the tournament at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2010, was the top-rated Test batsman for a total of 139 Tests (fourth-most behind Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards and Brian Lara), was the number-one ranked ODI batsman for 112 matches or 354 days, played with 104 Test team-mates and faced 477 Test opponents."