Sachin Tendulkar has finally made that call. After 24 years at the very top of international cricket, the 'Little Master' will bring an end to his magnificent career.
True geniuses do not come around very often, and it is not in the least bit hyperbolic to recognise the India batsman as a hero of an entire nation.
Tendulkar's influence always transcended the sport and cricket simply could not contain his presence as he became a global and social icon to millions.
His powers may have waned slightly over the past few years of his glittering international career, but he will bow out in fitting fashion when he plays his 200th Test against West Indies in November.
Amid typically unrelenting speculation, Tendulkar wound down his career in stages, announcing his retirement from one-day internationals in late December in 2012. But this will be a fine way to hopefully club a few boundaries - with a farewell in front of his adoring Indian public.
There sometimes appears to be no end to the milestones and staggering feats that the 40-year-old Sachin has achieved in his career, despite the fact that he has averaged 31.80 without a century in Tests since February 2011.
Having made his debut against bitter rivals Pakistan in 1989 as a fresh-faced 16-year-old, Tendulkar has gone on to accumulate 15,837 runs in 198 Tests and 18,426 runs in 463 ODIs.
No cricketer has played so many Tests as Tendulkar. He also owns the records for the most runs and centuries in both Test and one-day cricket. So yes, he really has taken the sport on to a new level with his batting.
The venues for his final two Tests have not yet been announced, but no stadium could contain the overwhelming affection and emotion that will be present. The matches will be about one man and one man only.
Sachin is deserving of this kind of regal send-off; he warrants the attention and his career demands such publicity and fanfare. His place is cemented amongst the greatest players to have played the game.
Tendulkar announced his decision to quit Test cricket via a BCCI statement - just as he had done in 2012 when he stepped down from ODIs - and it is abundantly clear how difficult he will find it to adapt to life without playing the sport he loves at the highest level.
"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," Tendulkar said in a statement.
"It's hard for me to imagine a life without playing cricket because it's all I have ever done since I was 11 years old. It's been a huge honour to have represented my country and played all over the world. I look forward to playing my 200th Test match on home soil, as I call it a day.
"I thank my family for their patience and understanding. 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."
N Srinivasan, the BCCI president, gave a touching tribute and rightly pointed out that it was hard to imagine an India team without Tendulkar: "I have been an ardent follower and admirer of Sachin Tendulkar from the days he came to play Buchi Babu in Chennai.
"He is without doubt the greatest cricketer India has produced. In fact one should really say he ranks among the top of all-time great sports persons in the world. He has been an inspiration for generations of sportsmen not just cricketers. We respect his decision to retire although many of us can't imagine an Indian team without Sachin."
The legacy he will leave in Indian cricket is immense. The influence he will always have within the game and in his home country is extraordinary. One just hopes that he now thrives in the next chapter of his life as he has done on the cricket field.
Sachin's monumental journey in international cricket began way back in November 1989 when he became the third youngest Test cricketer ever. It end on home soil some 24 years later.
Cricket has an lot to thank Sachin for - he will go down as one of the game's true greats.
Sanjay Manjrekar: "Privileged to have seen a child prodigy go on to become a true legend of the game from very close quarters. All the best Sachin."
Irfan Pathan: "Not being able to play alongside him or not seeing him play in d future sounds scary #SachinTendulkar"
Lalit Modi: "Received the news on Sachin's retirement with mixed feelings. A truly remarkable man -- none like him exists, he is not only revered, worshipped... But he is someone I and billions look up to. Feel sad he will not be lighting up the field in the style we are so accustomed to."
Michael Vaughan: "One of the Greatest ever @sachin_rt is retiring... One of my heroes and a absolute joy to play against.. #BornToPlayCricket."
Kevin Pietersen: "Sachin #10dulkar -- Undisputed Champion of Cricket! #SachinTheGreat"
Eoin Morgan: "Sad to hear the greatest ever batsman is calling it a day. One man who inspired a nation #Sachin"