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Sachin brings the curtain down on his illustrious IPL career

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Amidst celebrations of winning their first IPL title, Mumbai Indians fans were also saddened after learning that this would be the last time they would see their icon, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar donning the blue jersey. Sachin Tendukar announced his retirement from the cash-rich tournament after the Mumbai Indians defeated the Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs to lift the IPL trophy on Sunday.

"For World Cup I had to wait for 21 years but for this I had to wait for only six years. Also this is special for me as I won't be playing in IPL next season," Tendulkar said at the end of Mumbai Indians' triumph."I think this is the right time to stop playing IPL. Just got to accept the reality that this would be my last season. I am happy that the sending was perfect," the maestro told the presenter.

Without a doubt the best batsman to have ever donned the sky blue of the national team, Sachin Tendulkar’s performance in the IPL has also been phenomenal. Tendulkar has been a part of the Mumbai Indians ever since he was made the captain of the team in the inaugural edition of the tournament. With 2334 runs from 78 matches, he is the 5th highest run-getter in all seasons of the IPL. He was also the orange cap holder in the 2010 season, accumulating 618 runs in just 15 matches. He is also one of the only 3 players to have ever scored a century for the Mumbai Indians, scoring an unbeaten 100 off only 66 balls against the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the 2011 season. He also holds the record for having hit the most number of fours in the history of the competition, having sent the ball to the boundary 295 times.

Such outstanding statistics oppose the common notion that the T20 format is suited only for the ‘young and energetic’.  Sachin adds that vital experience at the top of the batting order and his stats have proved that being a power-hitter is not necessary to be a successful batsman in the T20 format; a proper technique can also help you gather runs at a pretty good strike rate. He is the only Indian batsman to have ever been the winner of the orange cap, while ‘T20 specialists’ Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni have never even been in contention. Current Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has also acknowledged the help provided by the veteran on the field and also with the batting of many young players in the squad. Having a player of Sachin’s calibre in the squad lifts everyone’s spirit and encourages them to perform well. "He comes and talks to me whenever he thinks something about my batting needs to be corrected. So we often have chats on how I can improve my cricket.” said Rohit in an interview with a leading Indian daily.

After having brought the curtain down on a glorious ODI career back in December, fans would have been hoping to see their “God” in action for some more time in the IPL, and his retirement would come as a huge blow to the millions of people in this cricket-crazy country.