Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from the cash-rich Indian Premier League soon after Mumbai Indians won their maiden title, defeating Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs in the final, in Kolkata, 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," declared the batting ace, 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 added.
"I can't just wait to touch the trophy and this is the right time to say thank you to everyone.
It's never too late to win a trophy," a beaming Tendulkar said, when Sunil Gavaskar, another batting legend, asked whether he would play the Mumbai Indians' opening match at the Wankhede next year.
Asked about how it felt playing at 40, he replied: "Anil (Kumble) said that 40 is just a number. There were optional practice days but the entire team turned up. Things don't come easily, but we were prepared to go through the grind."
For Tendulkar, the current season surpassed Mumbai Indians' showing in the third edition, where they narrowly lost the final to Chennai Super Kings.
"I've enjoyed my six seasons with Mumbai Indians. Its been a fantastic journey. This season was superb. We thought our third season was the best, but this one is the icing on the cake," said Tendulkar.
This is the second format from which Tendulkar has announced his retirement after having called quits from ODIs in December,right before the series against Pakistan.
Cricket fans will now have to wait till the end of the year when Tendulkar is likely to be seen in action against South Africa in a three-Test series where he is expected to complete a historic 200 Tests.