Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has ended all the speculations around his retirement and called it a day in international cricket on Saturday.
Taking to his official Instagram handle, Dhoni posted a montage with several clips and moments from his international career. He captioned the post, “Thanks. Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. From 1929 hours consider me as Retired.”
Dhoni has been the most successful Indian captain ever and is the only international skipper who has led his team all the ICC glories. After the ICC World T20 victory in 2007, Dhoni-led India earned the ICC Test Mace in 2009 and followed it with the ICC World Cup win in 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy victory in 2013.
Dhoni has not been seen in the Indian blue since the nation team’s semifinal exit from the ICC World Cup 2019 against New Zealand. He had taken a sabbatical for two months, but no comeback plan was announced by him.
In this time, Rishabh Pant and later KL Rahul took his place as wicketkeeper of the Indian limited-overs side.
Meanwhile, speculations had grown wild that he would return to the cricket field with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and would make a case to be part of the Indian squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2020.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting normalcy, the IPL was postponed and this year’s T20 World Cup was also cancelled. While the IPL is set to take place in March, the next T20 World Cup is scheduled for 2021.
Other than that, the recent future of India’s next limited-overs cricket is also under doubt due to the pandemic. Given than Dhoni would be on the vicinity of turning 40 by the time India play any white-ball cricket, his decision emerges as a calculated step.
The 2011 World Cup-winning captain is yet to give details of the development as to whether he is retiring from the game entirely or if he is only bowing out from international cricket.
Dhoni is currently part of the CSK training camp at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai and is expected to lead the team in the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League which is set to start on September 19 in the UAE.
In 350 ODI appearances as a batsman, Dhoni has amassed 10,773 runs at an average of above 50 with 10 centuries. His T20I numbers included 1,617 runs at an average of 37 in 97 matches.
He had retired from Test cricket during India’s 2014-15 tour of Australia.