India legend Dhoni retires from international cricket
The 39-year-old wicketkeeper and batsman is India's most successful captain having won the World Cup, the inaugural T20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy. Dubbed 'Captain Cool' because of his unflappable style, Dhoni is also one of India's best loved sports personalities and his fans have been dreading this decision for months.
Dhoni posted a four minute seven second video of his career highlights on Instagram and added in a caption: "Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout. From 1929hrs consider me as retired."
Dhoni did not say whether this meant all cricket but Chennai Super Kings chief executive Kasi Vishwanathan told AFP that Dhoni would still lead the team in the Indian Premier League starting in the United Arab Emirates next month.
Dhoni arrived in Chennai on Friday to train with the team before they leave for Dubai next week. Dhoni's Chennai teammate and fellow World Cup winner, Suresh Raina, also announced his international retirement. Dhoni quit Tests in 2014 and has not played for the national side since India's World Cup semi-final loss against New Zealand in England last year -- his 350th one day international.
He holds the record for most international matches as captain, 332, and his 195 international stumpings are also the most by any wicket-keeper. Tributes poured in for the player who led India to the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007, the 50-over event in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013.
He scored 10,773 runs in ODIs and is the only captain to have led a country to victory in all three International Cricket Council trophies. "The boy from Ranchi, who made his ODI debut in 2004, changed the face of Indian cricket with his calm demeanour, sharp understanding of the game and astute leadership qualities," the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement confirming Dhoni's move. "It is the end of an era," said Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president and himself a former national captain. "His leadership qualities have been something which will be hard to match."
India skipper Virat Kohli tipped his hat to his former captain in an emotional message. "Every cricketer has to end his journey one day, but still when someone you've gotten to know so closely announces that decision, you feel the emotion much more. What you've done for the country will always remain in everyone's heart," Kohli wrote on Twitter. "But 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."
India batting great Sachin Tendulkar paid tribute to his former teammate under whom he won the ODI World Cup in Mumbai.
"Your contribution to Indian cricket has been immense," Tendulkar wrote on Twitter. "Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life."
Former England captain Nasser Hussain rated Dhoni as the best ever captain in limited-overs cricket. "Great captain. Probably the best white-ball captain there has ever been and also a cool, calm customer under pressure," the cricketer-turned-commentator said on Sky Sports. "He is a great finisher of a game and until recently he paced the innings perfectly. He was involved in some of the great moments of Indian cricket and did things his own way.”
After his debut, 16 years ago, Dhoni captured the imagination of fans with his swashbuckling batting. He played 90 Tests, scoring 4,876 runs.
Suresh Raina said it had been "nothing but lovely" to be in teams with Dhoni as he also announced his departure from the national team on Instagram. "With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey," he declared.
The 33-year-old played 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20 internationals, scoring 7,988 runs as a left-handed batsman.