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MS Dhoni Honored: BCCI Retires Captain Cool’s Iconic No. 7 Jersey

“MS Dhoni” Introduction:

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently announced a symbolic gesture to honor the legendary career of Mahendra Singh Dhoni by retiring his iconic No. 7 jersey. This move follows a similar decision made in 2017 when Sachin Tendulkar’s No. 10 jersey was taken off the list of available numbers. This article delves into the significance of this decision, reflecting on Dhoni’s unparalleled contribution to Indian cricket and its impact on the current and future generations of cricketers.

MS Dhoni’s Cricketing Legacy:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, fondly known as Captain Cool, stands as one of the most prominent figures in Indian cricket history. His captaincy prowess is exemplified by being the only leader to secure victories in all three ICC tournaments in the white-ball format. The journey began with the inaugural T20 World Cup triumph in 2007, followed by the iconic 2011 ODI World Cup win, and culminating in the Champions Trophy victory in 2013. Dhoni’s legacy is eternally engraved in Indian cricket folklore, particularly for his match-winning six in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka.

A Career of Records and Achievements:

MS Dhoni’s illustrious career spans 90 Tests, 350 ODIs, and 98 T20Is, where he amassed 4876, 10773, and 1617 runs respectively. Notably, he holds the record for the most dismissals by an Indian wicketkeeper, with an impressive tally of 634 catches and 195 stumpings. Beyond the numbers, Dhoni’s leadership style, strategic acumen, and ability to maintain composure under pressure have left an indelible mark on the Indian cricketing ethos.

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Retirement and the Last Stand:

The decision to retire MS Dhoni’s No. 7 jersey comes three and a half years after the cricketing maestro bid farewell to the international stage in August 2020. His final appearance in India’s colors, adorned with the iconic No. 7, was in the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester. This symbolic move by the BCCI reflects the acknowledgment of MS Dhoni’s unparalleled contribution and the lasting impact he has had on the sport.

‘Number Crunch’ in Indian Cricket:

While the retirement of jersey numbers pays homage to cricketing legends, it also presents a challenge for the current generation of Indian cricketers. With Tendulkar’s No. 10 and Dhoni’s No. 7 now off-limits, young players face a limited pool of available numbers. The current system designates approximately 60 numbers to the regular players and those in contention, leaving debutants with only a handful of choices.

Impact on Young Cricketers:

The decision to retire jersey numbers, although a fitting tribute to cricketing icons, raises questions about its impact on the choices available to emerging talents. As per ICC rules, players are allowed to pick any number between 1 to 100, but with the restriction on retired numbers, the pool has significantly narrowed. This leaves new entrants with fewer options to express their individuality through their chosen jersey numbers.

Case in Point: Yashasvi Jaiswal:

The predicament faced by young Indian opener Yashasvi Jaiswal serves as a notable example. Expressing a desire for jersey No. 19, Jaiswal found himself unable to claim it because Dinesh Karthik, who still actively plays, already has that number. This situation compelled the left-hander to compromise and settle for No. 64, highlighting the challenges emerging players encounter in choosing their jersey numbers.

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The Symbolism of Jersey Numbers:

Jersey numbers hold significant sentimental value in the world of sports. They become synonymous with the player and their contributions to the game. Retiring jersey numbers, as seen in the cases of Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, is a way of immortalizing their legacies. However, it also prompts a broader conversation about the evolving nature of the game, the identity of players, and the impact on the aspirations of emerging talents.


The retirement of MS Dhoni’s No. 7 jersey marks a poignant moment in Indian cricket, symbolizing the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter. While honoring the contributions of cricketing legends is essential, it is equally crucial to address the challenges faced by the current generation of players in choosing their jersey numbers. The BCCI’s decision, though symbolic, opens up a discourse on the evolving traditions within the sport and the need to strike a balance between paying tribute to the past and fostering the aspirations of the future.

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