Cricket: SSN's Geraint Hughes witnessed one of the most emotional days in cricket history
Last Updated: 18/11/13 9:13am
Tendulkar gave a long speech, cheered on by his adoring public
Sachin Tendulkar has retired after a very emotional day in Mumbai. Sky Sports News' Geraint Hughes reports.
Well, that's that's then. After 24 years and 1 day - yes, he made his international debut on 15th November 1989, and called time on his career on 16th November 2013 - Sachin Tendulkar retires.
Another strange and amazing day in Mumbai but what's new? The whole week has been surreal. I was never quite sure whether I was covering a Test Match or a soap opera.
Firstly, the West Indies were rolled over with ease by India, who won the two-match Test series 2-0.
Secondly, the Test match was a side show as all the supporters who turned up over the three days only wanted to see Sachin Tendulkar.
They cheered when he fielded, they cheered when he bowled, they cheered when he batted, and today they cheered, cried and cheered again as Tendulkar walked off a cricket field for the last time.
Large sections of the crowd continued to cry as Tendulkar addressed the crowd for over 20 minutes. He thanked his family with heartfelt love and then thanked everyone who had ever helped him.
He also reminded his adoring public that there is life after Sachin, that they must support the future Indian cricketers.
When the crowd began to leave I managed to speak to few and one lady, who'd flown over from London, couldn't contain her tears.
She said: "He represents Mumbai, India, sport, he is a global sportsman. Thank you, Sachin."
Another gentleman just told me: "I'm not sure i can watch cricket again. For me, today cricket died."
Tendulkar is very much aware he is adored by the Indian public, often to extremes, but ever the diplomat and politician, he tried to let them down gently.
Politics awaits Little Master
Rahul Dravid told me Tendulkar had cried in the dressing room for five minutes when he walked off the field but, by the time he did his lap of honour, his composure was back and so was an engaging smile that he has worn all his career.
Tendulkar will now doubtless take a rest, but politics does await him. He's already an MP in the upper house of the Indian parliament, a position he was not elected to, but was nominated for because of his standing in the country.
And so, what's Mumbai like right now?
Well, life goes on, but Tendulkar, I predict, will not be forgotten soon, if ever. Pity the current and next generation of Indian cricketers, They will forever be compared with the Little Master.