MS Dhoni, ex-India cricket captain, says 'consider me as retired'

Dhoni led India to inaugural Twenty20 World Cup title in 2007 and repeated the feat at 50-overs World Cup in 2011.

    Dhoni fields during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between South Africa and India at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, southern England [File: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP]
    Dhoni fields during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between South Africa and India at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, southern England [File: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP]

    Indian wicketkeeper-batsman and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has announced his retirement from international cricket in a cryptic message posted on Instagram.

    "Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout. From 1929 hrs consider me as Retired," he wrote on Instagram on Saturday with a video montage which had images from his 15-year international career.

    The message ended speculation around the international future of the enigmatic 39-year-old, who quit test cricket in 2014 and has not played for India since the team's semi-final exit at the 50-overs World Cup in July last year.

    Dhoni burst onto the international scene in an one-dayer against Bangladesh in late 2004 as a long-haired wicketkeeper with spectacular power-hitting prowess.

    He went on to become statistically India's most successful captain, leading them to World Cup triumphs in 2007 (Twenty20) and 2011 (50-overs ODI), while they also became the top ranked test team under him in 2009.

    As a batsman, Dhoni also transformed himself into one of the best finishers of the game, famously illustrating it by securing India's 2011 World Cup victory by hitting a six in the final against Sri Lanka.

    The immensely popular cricketer ends his ODI career having played 350 matches, scoring 10,773 runs and effecting 444 dismissals. He holds the record for most dismissals in T20 internationals with 91 in 98 matches.

    Overall, Dhoni has amassed 17,000 international runs across formats, including 16 centuries, and more than 800 victims as wicketkeeper.

    Dhoni also captains the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the franchise-based T20 Indian Premier League (IPL). He led the CSK team since the inaugural 2008 edition of the IPL tournament, winning the title in 2010, 2011 and 2018.

    'End of an era'

    Fellow India great Sachin Tendulkar said Dhoni’s contribution had been immense.

    "Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life," the 47-year-old former batting maestro tweeted. "Wishing you and your family all the very best for your 2nd innings."

    "It is the end of an era," Indian cricket board (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly said in a statement.

    "His leadership qualities have been something which will be hard to match, especially in the shorter format of the game.

    "Every good thing comes to an end and this has been an absolutely brilliant one," added Ganguly, himself a former India captain.

    BCCI secretary Jay Shah called Dhoni "one of the greats of the modern era".

    "I wish him all the very best for IPL and his future endeavours," Shah said, suggesting Dhoni would play in this year's IPL, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates from September 19.

    Shortly after Dhoni’s announcement, former India all-rounder Suresh Raina also said he was retiring from international cricket.

    "It was nothing but lovely playing with you [Dhoni]," Raina, also Dhoni's CSK teammate, wrote on Instagram. "With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India."

    Apart from appearing in 18 tests and 78 T20 matches, the 33-year-old Raina also played in 226 ODIs, where he averaged 35 with the bat, including 36 half-centuries and five 100s, and took 36 wickets.

    SOURCE: News agencies