The 40-year-old brought an end to 24 years in international cricket on Saturday as India claimed a win against West Indies in his native Mumbai.
After making his debut in 1989, cricket's all-time highest run-scorer played in 200 Test matches and scored 100 centuries in all forms of the game, landmarks which may never be bettered.
And Richardson, who faced the little master in 10 Tests and 26 one-day internationals as a player for South Africa, is certain his contribution to the game will never be forgotten.
"He was an exceptional cricketer who earned the utmost respect of his peers, team-mates, opponents and fans all over the world through his talent, performances and fierce competitiveness," he said.
"His 664 internationals, 34,357 runs and 100 centuries over 24 years not only illustrate his determination and commitment to the game but also his mental and physical toughness which are the vital ingredients to reach the highest pedestal in any sport.
"Sachin always put his team ahead of himself during his illustrious career, but he picked up a number of personal accolades which highlights his brilliance.
"He was declared player of the tournament at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2010, was the top-rated Test batsman for a total of 139 Tests (fourth-most behind Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards and Brian Lara), was the number-one ranked ODI batsman for 112 matches or 354 days, played with 104 Test team-mates and faced 477 Test opponents.
"Sporting geniuses like Sachin are rare phenomenons and we are privileged to have seen him in action. On behalf of the ICC and the entire cricketing family, I thank Sachin for his unprecedented services to our sport and we wish him well in the future."
There were emotional scenes at the Wankhede Stadium when the last wicket fell to hand India victory by an innings and 126 runs inside two-and-a-half days.
The home crowd had come hoping for a 101st century but that chance was extinguished after their hero fell for 74 on day two and it became clear that India would not need to bat again.
Their fervour was not diminished, however, at the end of the game as Tendulkar ran to his team-mates and began shaking hands before grabbing a stump to keep as a souvenir.
As he waved to the cheering crowd, stump in hand, his team-mates formed a loose guard of honour which jogged in two groups either side of him and he appeared to be on the brink of tears, wiping his eyes as he reached the boundary.
The words 'Legends never retire' appeared on the big screen and the West Indies players and officials came down to meet him before Tendulkar disappeared up the steps to prepare himself for the post-match presentation.
After the presentations were made, Tendulkar gave a 20-minute speech in which he paid tribute to his family, friends, coaches and team-mates with the crowd hanging on his every word.
And he backed his team-mates to continue his legacy on the day they moved up to second behind South Africa in the ICC's Test rankings.
"My life between 22 yards for 24 years, it's hard to believe that wonderful journey is coming to an end," he said in the presentations televised on Sky Sports 2.
"You are like my family away from home, I have had some wonderful times with you.
"It's going to be difficult not to be part of the dressing room sharing those special moments.
"All the coaches for their guidance, it's been special for me.
"I know when MS Dhoni presented me with the 200th Test match cap on the day one morning. I had a brief message for the team, I would like to repeat that.
"I just feel that all of us are so so fortunate and proud to be part of the Indian cricket team.
"Knowing all of you guys, I know you will continue to serve the nation in the right spirit, the right values.
"I believe we have been the lucky ones. We have been chosen by the almighty to serve this wonderful sport.
"Each generation gets this opportunity to merely take care of the sport and to serve it to the best of our ability.
"I have full faith in you that you will continue to serve the nation in the right spirit to the best of your ability and bring all the laurels to your country."