On this day in 2013: When Sachin Tendulkar’s emotional farewell speech brought tears to billions

On this day in 2013: Batting great Sachin Tendulkar brought down the curtains on his celebrated career in front of thousands of fans at the Wankhede Stadium. Tendulkar’s farewell speech brought tears to billions across the globe.

Sachin Tendulkar’s emotional farwell speech will be remembered for a long time (India Today Photo)

By India Today Web Desk: There are hardly more emotional moments in Indian cricket than Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 16, 2013. A billion and more fans were listening with rapt attention as Tendulkar, arguably the greatest Indian cricketer brought the curtains down on his celebrated 24-year-long career.

Sachin Tendulkar was unable to control his emotions even as the chants of “Sachin, Sachin” reverberated through the iconic stadium in Mumbai. Thousands had turned up to watch the Master Blaster’s last day in international cricket and they were not disappointed as the batting great took his time to gather his thoughts and share his emotions with the world.

For Tendulkar, it must have been hard to imagine not waking up and looking forward to playing the sport he loved the following day. For millions of his fans, it was hard to imagine that their idol was never going to again play those silky drives as an India cricketer anymore. Millions grew up watching the artist dominate opposition attacks and the realisation that the ritual of sitting in front of the television sets and being mesmerised by the batting great would no more exist was heartbreaking.

It was evident with the way the emotions overflew on November 16. Every word of Tendulkar’s speech was cheered, his pauses gave fans the time to let their emotions out and the chants never stopped on an eventful day.

India had wrapped up a Test series victory against West Indies. Rohit Sharma had announced his arrival as a Test cricketer. Pragyan Ojha bamboozled West Indies batters with great precision. But, none of that mattered. Only the man standing in the middle of the pitch, trying hard not to tear up, mattered.

In a long speech, Tendulkar thanked nearly everyone who played a part in helping him become the legend that he is. Here are snippets from Tendulkar’s iconic speech, which was the fitting end to what was one of the most memorable careers in sport.


In the last 24 years that I have played for India, I have made new friends, and before that I have had friends from my childhood. They have all had a terrific contribution. As and when I have called them to come and bowl to me in the nets, they have left all their work aside to come and help me. Be it joining me on holidays and having discussions on cricket when I was a little stressed and wanting to find a solution so I can perform better. All those moments my friends were with me. Even for when I was injured, I would wake up in the morning because I couldn’t sleep and thought that my career was over because of injuries, that is when my friends have woken up at 3 o’clock in the morning to drive with me and just make me believe that my career was not over. Life would be incomplete without all those friends. Thanks for being there for me.

My cricket career started when I was 11. The turning point of my career was when my brother took me to Achrekar sir, my coach. I was extremely delighted to see him up in the stands. Normally, he sits in front of the television and he watches all the games that I play. When I was 11 or 12, those were the days when I used to hop back on his scooter and play a couple of practice matches a day. The first half of the innings I would be battingat Shivaji Park, the second half, some other match in Azad Maidan. He would take me all over Mumbai to make sure I got match practice.

On a lighter note, in the last 29 years, sir has never ever said ‘well played’ to me because he thought I would get complacent and I would stop working hard. Maybe he can push his luck and wish me now, ‘well done on my career’, because there are no more matches in my life. I will be witnessing cricket, and cricket will always stay in my heart, but you have had an immense contribution in my life, so thank you very much.


I want to thank all the people here who have flown in from various parts of the world, and have supported me endlessly, whether I scored a 0 or a 100-plus, whatever. Your support was so dear to me and meant a lot to me. Whatever you have done for me… I know I have met so many guys who have fasted for me, prayed for me, done all sorts of things. Without all that life wouldn’t have been like this for me.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and also say that time has flown by rather quickly, but the memories you have left with me will always be with me forever and ever. Especially “Sachin, Sachin” which will reverberate in my ears till I stop breathing. (chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin!’)

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