MS Dhoni has announced his retirement from international cricket, bringing an end to the top-flight career of one of India’s greatest limited-overs cricketers, and its most successful captain. He is the only captain to lift all three ICC trophies – the 50-over World Cup, the T20 World Cup, and the Champions Trophy – and he also took India to the top of the ICC Test rankings.
Dhoni, 39, took to Instagram to make his announcement, putting up a slideshow of images from his career, with the caption: “Thanks – Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired.” (sic)
While the post didn’t specify it, the retirement is only from international cricket, and Dhoni will play for Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming IPL 2020. He arrived in Chennai on Friday for Super Kings’ short camp at Chepauk ahead of IPL 2020, which will be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. Kasi Viswanathan, the Super Kings CEO, had recently said that the team expected Dhoni to play for the franchise even after retirement, till at least 2022.
The announcement meant Dhoni’s final international match would remain his 350th ODI: the World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand in July 2019. Dhoni made 50 off 72 balls in that game before being beaten by a rocket throw from Martin Guptill by inches as India exited the tournament. Dhoni hasn’t played any competitive cricket since then and had only resumed proper training with Super Kings in March before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Dhoni also played 90 Test matches and 98 T20Is in an international career that began in December 2004. His statistics are outstanding: more than 15,000 international runs across formats, 16 centuries, and more than 800 dismissals as wicketkeeper.
“It is the end of an era,” Sourav Ganguly, Dhoni’s first international captain and now the president of BCCI, said in a statement. “What a player he has been for the country and world cricket. His leadership qualities have been something that 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.”