A teary-eyed Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday bid an emotional farewell to the game he considered his "oxygen" and said it would be hard for him to believe that his life between "22 yards in the last 24 years" has come to end.
Shortly after his 200th and final Test ended at the stroke of lunch, heart-warming scenes marking his last few moments on the cricket field were witnessed at the Wankhede Stadium where he took a lap of honour hoisted on the shoulders of skipper MS Dhoni and rising star Virat Kohli.
The 40-year-old batting icon struggled to keep his emotions in check as he delivered his farewell speech in front of cheering fans before going back to the pitch to touch it in reverence for one last time.
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"My life between 22 yards for 24 years, it is hard to believe that the wonderful journey is coming to end. I would take this opportunity to thank all those people who have played an important role in my life," an overwhelmed Tendulkar said at the presentation ceremony.
In a speech which left many with moist eyes, Tendulkar thanked his family, coaches, teammates, friends and fans.
"All my Friends, settle down and let me talk, or I will get more emotional. It is getting difficult to talk but I will manage," the veteran said immediately after his 200th and final Test which India won by an innings and 126 runs even as the crowd chanted his name.
In Image: Sachin's teammates carry him for a final time
Text and Images: PTI