MS Dhoni and Raina retires from international cricket

MS Dhoni, India’s record-breaking and World Cup-winning former skipper, announced his retirement from international cricket Saturday evening through an Instagram post.

The swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman chose his favourite Bollywood hit “main pal do pal ka shayar hoon” for a video montage accompanying his retirement announcement. “Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout.from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired,” Dhoni wrote along with it.

The montage featured some of his career highlights and many photos of him never seen in the public domain before.

“The boy from Ranchi, who made his ODI debut in 2004, changed the face of Indian cricket with his calm demeanour, sharp understanding of the game and astute leadership qualities,” BCCI said in a statement.

Dhoni had made his international debut in an ODI against hosts Bangladesh in December 2004 and famously got run out without opening his account. He made his Test debut against Sri Lanka a year later against Sri Lanka in Chennai. In 350 ODIs, Mahi, as he was popularly called by friends and fans,  made 10,773 runs which included 10 centuries. In 90 Tests that he played, Dhoni amassed 4876 runs at an average of just over 38 and six three-figure scores. He also featured in 98 T20 international games for the country, making a huge mark in the shortest format of the game by hitting towering sixes.

“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.

His batting in one-day cricket in his early stages made the world stand up and notice his flair and sheer natural brilliance. 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,” said former India skipper and current chief of the Indian cricket board, Sourav Ganguly.

Dhoni had retired from Test cricket on December 30, 2014 and in the longest format of the game, he played 90 matches and scored 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09.

The 39-year-old had traveled to Chennai yesterday to join his IPL team Chennai Super Kings for the forthcoming edition of the tournament starting in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from next month.

Dhoni, who would continue to play franchise cricket, is the only captain in the history of international cricket to have won a T20 World Cup (2007), a 50-over World Cup (2011) and Champions Trophy (2013) – all three major tournaments organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“Your contribution to Indian cricket has been immense, @msdhoni. Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life. Wishing you and your family all the very best for your 2nd innings,” tweeted Sachin Tendulkar.

Dhoni last wore an India jersey in the 2019 World Cup semifinal against New Zealand.

While his heroics in the limited-overs formats are well documented, it was also under his leadership that India became the No. 1 Test side in 2009 and the team stayed at the top for over 600 days. He has led India to victory in 21 home Test matches, the most by an Indian captain.

Leaving behind a rich legacy that will be difficult to replicate, Dhoni holds the record for most international matches as captain (332). Unarguably the quickest man behind the wicket, Dhoni has 195 international stumpings, the most by any wicket-keeper.

A short while after Dhoni’s announcement, his close friend, current IPL teammate and former India left-hander Suresh Raina also announced his retirement from international cricket.

“It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781. With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India. Jai Hind!”, he wrote.

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