11.59 pm: Right then, as of 2359 hrs this live blog is done. What an evening. We’ll be back with more on Dhoni tomorrow. Thanks for joining us tonight. We will leave you with this. Greatest moment of Dhoni’s career?
11.12 pm: How epic was this moment?
Most famous triumphs
- ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, 2011: Of course, Dhoni finished it off in style and India won the World Cup after a gap of 28 years. The party in the dressing room started soon after he hit that six off Nuwan Kulasekara and as the Indian captain, he was phenomenal on the night of the final. You have, surely, heard this before, haven’t you?
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, 2007: It was a special win for many reasons. But the fact that it came in 2007, not long after a horrendous low-point (and not just for Indian cricketers but also for the fans back home who took things too far after the ODI World Cup elimination), made this triumph all the more sweeter. A brash, young, long-haired Dhoni showed the world for the first time he was going to be a successful captain.
- ICC Champions Trophy, 2013: In the list of India’s most famous triumphs, the 2013 Champions Trophy often comes as an afterthought after the two World Cup wins for many. But this tournament was unique because Dhoni found a way to win with spin bowling and a new-look top order. The win also came on the back of an IPL scandal that would have surely affected the team morale, if not for Dhoni’s calming presence as captain.
- Commonwealth Bank Series, 2008: “The process was criticised, when the one-day team was selected, and the timing of the selection,” Dhoni said about this win. One wonders, if the CB Series did not go according to Dhoni’s plans, would he have been as successful as India’s captain? Would he have been backed? The World T20 was a fun victory, but this tri-series win truly paved the way for the Dhoni era.
- Test win at Lord’s against England, 2014: What came afterwards was forgettable, but Dhoni did manage to lead his team to a Test victory at Lord’s. Those do not happen often.
- India becoming world no 1 in Tests, 2009: Having officially taken over the reigns of the Test team in 2008, Dhoni became the first Indian captain to lead the team to the world No 1 ranking in 2009. The team stayed at that pinnacle for over 600 days during the 2009-2011 period.
10.34 pm: Meanwhile in Southampton, actual cricket was supposed to happen but rain made sure the attention was firmly on Dhoni tonight. Play is abandoned for the day and Pakistan will resume on 223/9.
10.28 pm: A lovely line by Virat Kohli — “...the mutual respect and warmth I’ve received from you will always stay in mine. The world has seen achievements, I’ve seen the person. Thanks for everything skip. I tip my hat to you”
10.25 pm: Sunil Gavaskar on MS Dhoni (via India Today): “If you look at India’s captaincy in One-Day Internationals, he and Kapil Dev are undoubtedly at the top. Because they won World Cups, of course. And if you talk about white-ball cricket as a whole, Dhoni has the edge over Kapil because he won the T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy as well.”
10.19 pm: Harsha Bhogle’s tribute, in MSD style: “Aap har pal ke shayar hai”
10.08 pm: Beautifully summed up, Dhoni’s announcement today...
9.59 pm: While it doesn’t take a genius to know that he tops the charts for India as a wicketkeeper-batsman in all three formats of the game, the question we are looking to answer here is whether he would make the World XI in any format.
Check out his numbers from all formats here...
9.50 pm: Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s enigmatic persona, his ability to the read situations and change the course of the match with an inspired bowling change and the nerves of steel to take a chase to its logical end have all been talked about so often. But what flies under the radar (if such a thing is possible with Dhoni) is the former Indian skipper’s ability behind the stumps. His genius is front of the wickets somewhat overshadows his brilliance with the gloves.
9.45 pm: 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.
9.42 pm: India’s record across formats under Dhoni...
|All formats||2007-2018||332||178 (#1)||120||6||15||1.483|
9.36 pm: Here’s the link to the BCCI statement of Dhoni’s retirement (confirmation that it is only from international cricket).
9.28 pm: Jay Shah, BCCI secretary: “MS Dhoni is one of the greats of the modern era. I understand it’s a personal decision and we respect that. ‘Mahi’ as we all fondly refer to him, has had an exceptional career in international cricket. His captaincy has been both inspiring and commendable. He is leaving the game richer from the time he joined. I wish him all the very best for IPL and his future endeavours.”
9.25 pm: A touching tweet from Virat Kohli...
9.22 pm: Sourav Ganguly, President, BCCI: “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.”
9.20 pm: “Former India captain Mr Mahendra Singh Dhoni has announced his retirement from international cricket,” the BCCI confirmed.
9.17 pm: In this 2008 interview with ESPNCricinfo (not long after he had overseen the World T20 campaign as well as the memorable CB Series triumph in Australia), he spoke about what was important to him as captain:
“One of my theories is to be captain on the field and off the field you need to totally enjoy each other’s company. I don’t like discussing cricket off the field.
As captain you’ll take vital decisions and your thinking or decisions can have a big impact on the game, but a lot depends on the individuals you give jobs to. That’s why I’ve always said the captain is the guy who accumulates all the pressure and then channels it to different individuals - bowlers or allrounders or batsmen. Basically he’s a selfish guy who picks guys to do the job for him. It’s very important for him to motivate others who’ll do loads of jobs for him.”— via ESPNCricinfo (March 2008)
9.13 pm: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is many things to Indian cricket. The batsman who went from a swashbuckling young dasher to mature master-finisher. The wicket-keeper who made stumpings cool and performed no-look run-outs for fun. The superstar who normalised the fact that superstar cricketers can, indeed, come from any corner of the country.
But most of all, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is India’s Captain Cool. Even when he is not the captain.
9.10 pm: “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,” Raina posted on Instagram. The announcement (in all likelihood) of his international retirement too.
9.08 pm: Here is a collection of reactions to the big news...
9.03 pm: Sachin Tendulkar leads the tribute for the former captain.
8.56 pm: Here’s the post from Instagram.
The video posted by Dhoni is a montage with images of his cricketing journey with the Indian team. The video, which has the song Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hoon from the 1976 Hindi movie Kabhie Kabhie playing in the background, starts with stills of his international debut in 2004.
The video goes on to show some the highs and lows of his career. The victory at the 2007 World T20, the 2011 World Cup triumph and the 2013 Champions Trophy are some of the big moments that feature. The video also has images of MSD playing with other Indian cricketing greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli.
8.50 pm: “From 1929 hrs consider me as retired”
In what is quite possibly THE MOST Dhoni way possible, the former India captain announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday evening.
MS Dhoni said Saturday he had retired from India’s national team with a short social media post, while it is expected that he would carry on playing in the Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings.
The BCCI has not confirmed the news yet.
“Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. from 1929hrs consider me as retired,” Dhoni said in an Instagram post.
The 39-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman quit Tests in 2014 and has been on sabbatical since India’s semi-final loss to New Zealand in last year’s World Cup.
We will follow this developing story in this live blog while looking back at his career as well.