MOHALI, INDIA // The India batsman Sachin Tendulkar has become the leading all-time scorer in Test cricket, surpassing retired West Indies batsman Brian Lara's record. Tendulkar, 35, was 14 runs behind at the start of the second test against Australia and passed the mark with a three off rookie paceman Peter Siddle just after the tea interval today. He was later dismissed for 88. Lara, who retired after the 2007 World Cup, scored his 11,953 runs from 131 tests with 34 centuries and 48 half centuries. Afterwards, Tendulkar said: "It has taken me 19 years to get the record. It can't happen overnight. "It has been a fantastic journey. There have been ups and downs in the process of success." Tendulkar, among the team's senior players faced with questions of retirement, added jokingly: "If stones are thrown at you, you convert them into milestones." The Indian president and prime minister led a grateful nation in paying glowing tributes to the record-smashing batsman. "I am extremely delighted and proud that you have reached the pinnacle of achievement in cricket today by becoming the highest run-getter in Tests," President Pratibha Patil said in a message to Tendulkar. "You have given joy to millions of Indians and I am sure you will continue to set new standards of achievement in the future." Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: added: "Sachin is truly worthy of the mantle of the greatest run-scorer in Tests. I have been following his cricket and there is no doubt that he is a genius." The former India star Chandu Borde, who was the team's manager when Tendulkar made his Test debut aged 16 on the tour of Pakistan in 1989, said he was delighted at the achievement. "His career has been the most followed one in the cricketing fraternity," said Borde. "It seems records chased him and not the other way round. "His career has been a fantastic example for all to understand that hard work always pays. His concentration and dedication is a lesson for others to follow. "Despite all these achievements, he is such a humble person by nature and a great help to youngsters. Just by watching him in action, youngsters round the world can learn a lot."
Tendulkar, playing in his 152nd test, made his India debut in 1989 against Pakistan at Karachi and since then has scored at an average of 54.02 with a record 39 test centuries and 49 half centuries. He also holds the record for the most One Day International runs with 16,361. *Agencies