MS Dhoni, captain of India’s 2011 ICC World Cup winning team, chose Independence Day to announce his retirement from international cricket. He had already quit Test cricket in 2014.
Indian cricket’s all-time most successful captain in limited overs, the 39-year-old MS Dhoni holds the unique record of winning all three big ICC trophies - the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy – as captain. He is also the only Indian to do so.
Apart from his unrivalled pedigree as a captain, the Ranchi-born cricketer was also a top bracket batsman in limited overs cricket and one of the finest wicketkeepers around internationally over the last decade-and-a-half.
"It is the end of an era. What a player he has been for the country and world cricket. His leadership qualities have been something which will be hard to match, especially in the shorter format of the game," said Sourav Ganguly, former India captain and current BCCI president.
Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2014 paving the way for Virat Kohli to lead the Indian cricket team. He played 90 Tests, scoring 4876 runs at an average of 38.1.
But ‘Mahi’, as Dhoni was fondly called, was active in limited overs cricket. Dhoni, however, was on a sabbatical from international cricket since India’s exit from last year’s ODI World Cup causing large-scale speculations about his future. Dhoni played 350 ODIs, scoring 10,773 runs at an average of 50.6.
The Chennai Super Kings star, who played 98 Twenty20 internationals, confirmed his decision with an Instagram post which read, “Thanks. Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout. From 1929 hrs consider me as Retired.” Dhoni will continue to play in the Indian Premier League.
An inspiration to champions
A global superstar, MS Dhoni has been an inspirational figure not just in India but across the globe. His athleticism and charisma even drew the attention of top Olympians.
Back in 2017, two-time Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya took to social media to express how inspired she was inspired by the Indian cricketer’s biopic – MS Dhoni: An Untold Story starring Sushant Singh Rajput.
The news also prompted reactions for several top sports personalities across the country, who paid homage to ‘Captain Cool’s’ incredible sporting career.
"Every good thing comes to an end and this has been an absolutely brilliant one. He has set the standards for the wicketkeepers to come and make a mark for the country. He will finish with no regrets on the field. An outstanding career; I wish him the best in life," Sourav Ganguly, under whose captaincy Dhoni made his international debut, stated.