Farewells aside, it’s perhaps time to celebrate... his achievements, his contributions, his legacy and the genius that is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. MetroPlus talks to a cross-section of people on how they feel.

It was inevitable. Many of us had on many occasions mentally prepared ourselves for it and yet when his final announcement to retire from all forms of cricket came, multitudes of fans felt a sharp pang of despair. On Thursday afternoon social networking sites were flooded with messages about the little master bidding farewell to the game. There were sad emoticons, heart-broken updates from fans and then there were those who requested him to reconsider his decision. If only one could turn back time.

But who knows, maybe he will occupy himself with another sport and might have his fans watching him transfixed just like the way they watched him play cricket all these years.

VB Chandrasekhar, former cricketer

Sachin will play his last match in his home ground. He’s been successful in Chennai and the crowd would have been happy to watch him play here. In all these years he’s never changed and has remained down to earth. There’s a human side to him that’s so touching. As for his many achievements that’s there for the world to see. He never talks about the charity work he does. I’ll never miss him because I can go back to YouTube and watch him play.

Armaan Ebrahim, racer

We knew this day would come. He’s been playing for 24 years, since I was born. Of his many knocks my favourite is the one he played at Sharjah in 1998. After that I became a huge Sachin fan. I met him briefly a couple of times. But recently when we shot together for a television commercial I got to spend some time with him. It was a relaxed environment without the media around. He’s a major car buff and we discussed cars and my sport. He came across as an honest and genuine person.

Vishal, actor

I have always been a Sachin Tendulkar fan and was fortunate to have watched his almost match-winning innings of 136 against Pakistan at Chepauk. Today, I feel an era has come to an end. As long as the game of cricket is played, he will be remembered. I draw inspiration from his hard work and dedication to his sport. He played for 24 years and managed to stay away from controversies throughout his career. His life is an inspiration for everyone.

Sadagopan Ramesh, former cricketer

When cricketers retire, they miss playing the game. But, when Sachin retires, the world of cricket will miss him. He is the cricketing icon and I am happy that I had the privilege of playing alongside him. Like all youngsters who take to the game, I too looked up to him for inspiration. When I made my debut against Pakistan in 1999, I had the opportunity to share the dressing room with him. I was so thrilled to be seated next to him. He made me feel comfortable and treated me more like a friend. I didn’t see a superstar that he is to the outside world. More than anything, his hunger to achieve and constantly excel have kept him going for such a long period. He is someone who competed with himself.

Tirushkamini, cricketer

As a kid I used to watch him play and learnt a lot from him — both on and off the field. Watching cricket without him is going to be hard. I remember meeting him at the BCCI cricket awards where I won an award and he congratulated me. That was my happiest moment — being greeted by my role model. He is a phenomenal cricketer and can handle any situation.