The 40-year-old India superstar did not play last night in Kolkata because of a hand injury but moments after his side secured a 23-run victory he announced he was to bow out of the IPL.
His casual announcement came in an IPL pitchside interview shortly after the match when asked where the Mumbai Indians' maiden title triumph rated in his long and illustrious career.
"The World Cup I had to wait for 21 years, and this for six years, so it's never too late. This is my last IPL and it's perfect way to end IPL," he said, to the interviewer's apparent surprise.
He added: "I've got to be realistic here, I've enjoyed my six seasons with Mumbai and it's been a fantastic journey, especially this season which was also superb.
"I thought until now our third season was our best season, but this one is the icing on the cake."
The 'Little Master' cited his age as one of his reasons while revealing it had not been a sudden decision but one he had already made.
In quotes reported elsewhere, Tendulkar said: "I think this is the right time to stop playing.
"I am 40. I have to face the reality. I had decided that this would be my last season."
Tendulkar had announced his one-day international retirement towards the end of the last year.
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