Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: “Main pal do pal ka shayaar hoon.,Pal do pal meri kahaani hain” the song written by legendary poet Sahir Ludhanvi played on Instagram as former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday announced his retirement on an emotional note. The wicket keeper-captain posted a video montage with a caption: “Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout.from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired (sic).”
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.
Minutes later his CSK team mate Suresh Raina joined him in formally announcing his retirement from all international cricket. And like his skipper Raina made it official in an Instagram post.
Dhoni is currently in Chennai with the Chennai Super Kings squad and will be part of a training camp before they leave for UAE.
He captained India to victory in the inaugural edition of the World T20 in 2007 in South Africa and then led the side to victory in 2011 World Cup, where he sealed the cup with an iconic six over long-on against Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, .
India won ICC Champions Trophy with him at the helm in 2013 .He was also captain of India when they were the top ranked Test side between December 2009 and June 2011. He was also the captain when India won the Asia Cup in 2010 and 2016.
Domestically, in the IPL, Dhoni has led Chennai Super Kings to three titles and will be looking add a fourth before the end of the year.
Dhoni’s last appearance in the blue jersey came in India’s semi-final defeat to New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup after which he took a break from professional cricket. In this time, Rishabh Pant and later KL Rahul took his place as wicketkeeper of the Indian limited-overs side.
He also holds the record for most wins as an Indian captain in ODIs and T20Is, and most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs.
He made his international debut in an ODI against Bangladesh in December 2004 and made his Test debut a year later against Sri Lanka. He amassed 10,773 runs in 350 ODIs and 1,617 runs in 98 T20Is. The wicketkeeper-batsman also has 229 ODI sixes – the most for an Indian batsman.
CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan had recently said that the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman would be a part of the franchise, even for the 2021 and 2022 editions of the IPL.
Veteran batsman Suresh Raina also joined his close friend in formally announcing his retirement from all 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!” said Raina in a post that included a picture of him with his CSK teammates Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Karn Sharma.
Both Dhoni and Raina are expected to play in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), for which both of them arrived in Chennai for a training camp ahead of the team’s departure for the UAE. The tournament starts from September 19 and will run till November 10.
Most of Raina’s international appearances came under Dhoni’s captaincy. He scored 5,615 runs in 226 ODI matches, which included five centuries and 1,605 runs, including one century in 78 T20Is. He was the first Indian player to score a century in T20I cricket and the first from the country to score a century in all three formats of the game.
Although he scored a hundred on Test debut, Raina managed to play only 18 games in the longest format and scored 768 runs. His century on debut was also his only ton in the longest format of the game.
Raina was part of the Indian teams that won the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy, both under the captaincy of Dhoni.