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The Little Master wore the shirt throughout his long and distinguished playing career

India have “unofficially” retired the number 10 shirt worn by Sachin Tendulkar through his one-day international career.

The Little Master called time on his illustrious career in November 2013, having played 463 one-day matches and a solitary T20 international, and last wore his famous shirt in his final ODI appearance against Pakistan in March 2012.

Following his retirement, the number went unused for almost five years until Shardul Thakor took it on for his debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

The pace bowler was subjected to significant online criticism for wearing the 10 shirt and that reaction has encouraged the BCCI to discourage its players from choosing it in future.

“It unnecessarily creates controversy and players get criticised,” a BCCI official told the Indian Express.

“So it’s better to retire the number unofficially. Players, though, can wear it when they play for India A or for say a non-international list A match but not during an international.”

Sachin Tendulkar played in 463 one-day internationals for India

"It's a very individual choice. If players don't want to wear a certain number, one can't force them,” another official told PTI.

“ICC might just tell you that a team can't officially retire a jersey but it would never tell you that it's mandatory to wear that number.

"It's a very informal thing among players. Also you don't want young players to be abused like it happened with Shardul Thakur."

While the retiring of shirt numbers is fairly common in some other sports, it is incredibly rare in cricket.

Australia chose to retire the number 64 shirt worn by Phillip Hughes in limited overs games following the batsman’s tragic death three years ago but there are very few other examples.

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