It was a relatively quiet performance for Tendulkar, who nevertheless stole the show with a public farewell to the game following India's win over the West Indies by innings and 126 runs.
"It's hard to believe my wonderful journey is coming to an end," said Tendulkar, who went on to speak for some 20 minutes to the packed house at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
Tendulkar, 40, who played his first international test for India as a teenager in in 1989, drew a roar when he summed up his life as "22 yards in the last 24 years," referring to the 22 yards between the two sets of wickets.
Press Trust of India said Tendulkar referred to written notes while thanking and paying tribute to his family, teammates, coaches and even team doctors who kept him going through injuries over the years.
He singled out his first coach, Ramakant Achrekar, who recognized his talent when he was 11 years old and took him under his wing. "On a lighter note, Sir never said 'well played' because he didn't want me to be complacent," Tendulkar joked. "You can push your luck now, sir, since I'm not playing cricket anymore."
The International Cricket Council joined in the tributes to Tendulkar and his career, which included 664 international matches, including 200 that used the grueling "test" format, which can last nearly a week. He scored 34,357 runs and made 100 centuries, the BBC said.
"Sporting geniuses like Sachin are a rare phenomenon and we are privileged to have seen him in action," said ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.