Tributes poured in Thursday for Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar after announcing his retirement from Test cricket next month after a 24-year career.
Cricket's highest run-scorer was given blanket coverage by Indian TV and news websites, the Indian Express carrying a caption: "The God retires".
Reactions were tinged with sadness but most acknowledged Tendulkar's reflexes were clearly slowing.
"One of the greatest ever is retiring. One of my heroes and a absolute joy to play against," tweeted former England captain Michael Vaughan.
Kevin Pietersen said Tendulkar was the "undisputed champion of cricket", tweeting: "Sachin 10dulkar - Undisputed Champion of Cricket! SachinTheGreat".
South African captain Graeme Smith said he was amazed at Tendulkar's ability to absorb pressure from millions of fans in his cricket-mad country.
The only player to make 100 centuries in international cricket will end his career after a home series against the West Indies in November which will bring up his 200th Test - another world-first.
Cricket historian Boria Majumdar said: "There will be an overflow of emotions ...".
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said Tendulkar's "commitment to the game and his temperament stood out. He is India's biggest cricket asset ..."
Commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted: "You knew it was coming, it was inevitable, then why Sachin do you still produce this numbness?".
Tendulkar, 40, will finish as the only batsman to make 100 international centuries.
He said he had been living a dream since debuting against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989, but recognised it was time to call it quits.
"It's been a huge honour to have represented my country and played all over the world.
"All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years.
"Most of all, I thank my fans and well-wishers who, through their prayers and wishes, have given me the strength to go out and perform at my best."
Tendulkar has scored 15,837 Test runs including 51 centuries. His high point came in 2011 when, in his sixth World Cup, he helped India win the one-day title in Mumbai.
The Little Master has been widely hailed as second only to Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman.
Australia's Shane Warne said no one else came close to Tendulkar in his prime.
"Sachin Tendulkar is, in my time, the best player without a doubt - daylight second, Brian Lara third."
Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar said: "It is hard to imagine any player in the history of the game who combines classical technique with raw aggression like the little champion does. There is not a single shot he cannot play".
Former captain Sourav Ganguly said: "It's not just the talent he was born with, but what he did with it".Another ex-skipper Anil Kumble said: "... a moment to celebrate an incredible career ... I wish he finishes on a high. He deserves everything in life".