On Saturday, August 15, while India was celebrating its 74th year of independence, an announcement that no one saw coming rocked the cricket-frenzy nation. MS Dhoni, just like that, bid adieu to international cricket. The news also brought an abrupt end to incessant speculations about his future.
For a whole lot of young players, Dhoni is more than a mere cricketer. Not many would have entertained an idea of a certain guy from a small, hilly town of Ranchi leading his nation to two World Cup titles, an ICC Champions Trophy and carving his name in the annals of cricket history.
Dhoni, thus, symbolises a possibility for many such kids hailing from a small town, middle-class background and aspiring to don Men in Blue jersey in their life.
As ‘Captain Cool’ announced his retirement on Instagram, people from all walks of life thanked him for his service and wished good luck for his second innings.
Even Pakistani cricketers didn’t shy away from expressing their respect and admiration to the former Indian skipper. Shoaib Akhtar led the trend, followed by his colleagues like Shahid Afridi, Danish Kaneria and others.
Akhtar took to Twitter and wrote: “Mahendra Singh Dhoni retires from international cricket. The story of cricket will never be complete without him. Video tribute coming up shortly. What a legend! #DhoniRetires #mahendrasinghdhoni”.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) August 15, 2020
“One of the true legends of Indian cricket and one of the greatest captains, congratulations on a great career MS Dhoni! All the best for your future,” tweeted Afridi.
One of the true legends of Indian cricket and one of the greatest captains, congratulations on a great career MS Dhoni! All the best for your future. https://t.co/ruw8hQ5z8Z
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) August 15, 2020
Former Pakistan leg spinner Danish Kaneria also penned a heartfelt message for the Indian legend.
“Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hun, Pal Do Pal Meri Kahani”! “My best wishes to most successful captain of Indian Cricket team @msdhoni for his future endeavours. World will miss the finisher!” wrote Kaneria.
“Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hun, Pal Do Pal Meri Kahani”!
— Danish Kaneria (@DanishKaneria61) August 15, 2020
Apart from them, former cricketers like Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja and Saeed Ajmal among the others echoed the same sentiments regarding Dhoni’s retirement.
MSDhoni retires from international cricket! Great leader, great record, great entertainer and best in the world at a DRS read, but above all MS will be remembered for being a lead cast in Indian cricket’s iconic moments.
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) August 15, 2020
@msdhoni one of my favourite Crickterers has bade adieu to international cricket.He was someone who came ,played and conquered. Won India T20 World Cup World Cup and champions trophy.Loved his daring style never afraid of the opposition.Go well Mahi whatever you do in life
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) August 15, 2020
For many you have always been an inspiration & have been an exceptional performer for @BCCI. Indian team has achieved many glorious titles under your captaincy.I have also enjoyed playing with you. one of the most gentle & humble person. All the best bro @msdhoni pic.twitter.com/wy4umq2SAh
— Kamran Akmal (@KamiAkmal23) August 15, 2020
Congratulations on a super career @msdhoni an amazing cricketer and cricketing mind 👏🏽
All the best in your next chapter.
— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) August 16, 2020
— Saeed Ajmal (@REALsaeedajmal) August 16, 2020
— Imad Wasim (@simadwasim) August 16, 2020