Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s quintessential cricket captain, announced his retirement from Cricket on August 15. Dhoni retires as India’s most successful captain in limited-over internationals, having won three ICC trophies – 2007 T20 World Cup, 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy – the only captain to do so.
He wrote on his Instagram account, “Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout… from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired,”
While Dhoni posted the message around the same time on August 15, there are several theories floating on social media about why Dhoni exactly chose the time of 19:29 for the biggest decision of his career.
Fans were shocked and sports lovers surprised as this was not expected at this point. Dhoni known for his calm demeanour but aggressive on field strategies. A `cool captain’ who managed to win India two World Cup trophies and immortalized jersey No 7. A great leader and a finisher, a boy with a humble background from Ranchi, who rose to the heights of his career with focus and determination.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to Dhoni is trending on the social media since yesterday. Here, he described Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the embodiment of a new India where family name does not make one’s destiny.
In the lengthy note to the celebrated cricketer, the PM also lauded the calm demeanour with which Dhoni led the Indian team.
“No matter what hairstyle you sported, your calm head remained the same in victory or defeat, which is very important for every youth,” he said referring to different haircuts that Dhoni made famous after sporting an eye-catching long mane at the beginning of his career.
“Your dependability in tough situations and your style of finishing matches, particularly the 2011 World Cup final will forever be etched in the public memory for generations.”
“The correct way to assess your impact is as phenomenon.”
“Rising from humble beginnings in a small town, you burst onto the national scene, made a name for yourself and most importantly, made India proud,” Modi wrote.
The PM said Dhoni’s rise and conduct “gives strength and inspiration to crores of youngsters who like you haven’t been to cushy schools or colleges, neither do they belong to illustrious families but they have the talent to distinguish themselves at the highest level.”
M S Dhoni’s Career Graph
The film M S Dhoni- The Untold Story, a biographical sports film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey brought forth the real Dhoni for Indians.
As per cricbuzz.com ailing from Jharkhand, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s rise through the ranks into international cricket is a tale of rebellion, extraordinary merit, perseverance, and, most of all, belief. After being scouted on the whims of his school P.E. teacher as a wicketkeeper, Dhoni created whispers in the cricketing circles of Ranchi – a teenaged boy with no measurable upper-body strength clearing boundaries against some of the best fast bowlers of the district.
However, the system failed him as he found it difficult to make the cut against candidates of the more affluent A-tier states. Consequently, in a desperate move, he joined the Railways Ranji team and started to work as a ticket collector at the Kharagpur railway station to make ends meet.
M S Dhoni –The Cricket Captain
With a mature head on his shoulders and an astute and shrewd cricketing mind, Dhoni was recommended by senior players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid for captaincy after Rahul Dravid stepped down as skipper.
On his first assignment in the inaugural World T20 in 2007, Dhoni and his young troops romped to the title in a shock victory for the inexperienced Indian side, bringing about the T20 revolution in India.
Dhoni’s calm and composed leadership was widely lauded in the cricketing fraternity after India brought the trophy home, earning him the label of ‘Captain Cool’. He was soon handed the ODI leadership as a natural move after his World T20 triumph, and after the retirement of Anil Kumble in late 2008, the Test leadership was thrust upon him too.
There were many ups and down but Dhoni stayed put. A real rags to riches story where sheer focus, grit made him a role model for youngsters.
As depicted in the film, Dhoni took his father’s advice as depicted in his biopic MS Dhoni: the Untold Story – ‘Don’t let the success get to your head and keep going.’ A rather simple word of caution, but not necessarily easy to execute.’
It is all a part of the ‘process’ that Dhoni likes to talk about. The Indian youth has grown to mock the word, but Dhoni has taken victories in his stride along with defeat, and given more importance to evaluation at a micro-level as a tool to pave the way forward, with relative indifference to the results.
In all, Dhoni’s life has lessons for all of us.