Cricketing living legend Sachin Tendulkar will be awarded the Bharat Ratna, a Prime Minister's Office release said minutes after the Mr Tendulkar retired from international cricket.

"I dedicate this award to my mother," said Master Tendulkar, who had made special arrangements to ensure his mother, Rajni Tendulkar, watches his last Test match against West Indies at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium.

It is the first time an Indian sportsperson has been given the nation's highest civilian honour. Sachin Tendulkar is also the youngest ever recipient of the award.

Master - Sachin Tendulkar's speech after his final Test was emotional, exhaustive and one that covered everyone who loved, cherished, supported and hailed the legend.

An emotional Sachin Tendulkar had a long list of people to thank for supporting him through an illustrious 24-year career. In front of a packed Wankhede crowd, the legendary player - tears clearly visible in his eyes - bid farewell.

On his father:

The most important person in my life and I have missed him a lot since 1999. Without his guidance, I wont have been standing here before you. He gave me freedom since 11. He told me to be a nice human being. Every time I have done something special, I have raised my bat for my father.

On his mother:

I don’t know how she dealt with such a naughty child like me. She must be patient. My mother took care of me. She started praying for me before I started playing cricket and she kept praying, praying and praying. A big thanks to her for all the sacrifices.

On his siblings:

My eldest brother Nitin and his family have always supported me. He said whatever you do, I know you will give a 100 per cent.

My first cricket bat - a Kashmir willow - was presented by my sister. She is the one who continues to fast when I bat. So thank you Savita.

I don't know what to talk about Ajit. We have lived this dream together. He sacrificed his career, he spotted the spark and took me to Achrekar sir and my life changed. He called me last night and we were discussing my dismissal. That's the rapport we have developed since my birth. We agreed on various things as for my techniques and many times I didn't agree with his view. Now I think I would have been a lesser cricketer had I not had him.

On his wife:

Most beautiful thing happened to me in 1990 when I met my wife Anjali. Those were the most wonderful years. Being a doctor, there was a wonderful career ahead of her. She told me when we wanted to have a family that I should concentrate on cricket and she will take care of everything. Thanks for being there. You are the best partnership I have had in my life.

On his children:

I wanted to spend so much time with Sara and Arjun on their birthdays, annual days, sports days. I missed out on all of these. Thanks for understanding. For 14 and 16 years, I did not spend enough time. I promise you  I will make it up.

On his childhood friends:

My childhood friends have had a terrific contribution. They left all their work aside when I asked them to bowl at the nets, join me on holidays, help me concentrate. Friends woke up at 3am when I was injured and reassured me that my career was not over. Life would have been incomplete without them.

On his first coach:

My cricket career started when I was 11. Turning point of my career was when Ajith took me to Achrekar sir. I was extremely delighted to see him in the stands (today). On a lighter note, he never said 'well played' in the last 29 years because he thought I will become complacent. Sir, now I have played my last but cricket will always be in my heart.

On former cricketers who inspired him:

Thanks to all senior cricketers and I have high regards for all of them.

On colleagues and the players in the current Indian team:

We see them on the giant screen – Sourav, VVS, Kumble who isn't here and my team members. I have had wonderful years with you. It is going to be hard not to be with you and share the dressing room. I know you will continue to serve the nation in the right spirit and right values. I believe we were the lucky ones to have been chosen by the almighty. I have full faith in you that you will serve the nation and bring all the laurels to the country. All the best.

On those who helped him stay fit:

Would like to thank all the doctors, physios to get this body together Without your special efforts, it won’t have been possible. I have called them at weird hours, they have taken flights at odd hours to help me stay fit.

On fans:

I want to thank all the people here and from various parts of the world. You have meant a lot to me.