Former India captain Mahendra Singh announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday, August 15. (More Cricket News)
Everyone expected the decision to come sooner than later, but when it arrived, it did with its share of shock and awe. After all, Dhoni will never wear India colours in a competitive match.
Having established himself as a cricketing demi-god, the 39-year-old left in his own terms. He will be missed.
Here are some reactions:
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly termed the moment as "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," the former India captain said, adding "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."
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Batting Sachin Tendulkar, the lone batsman to hit 100 international centuries, hailed the "immense contribution" Dhoni has made to Indian cricket.
"Your contribution to Indian cricket has been immense, @msdhoni," Tendulkar posted on Twitter.
Your contribution to Indian cricket has been immense, @msdhoni. Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life. Wishing you and your family all the very best for your 2nd innings. pic.twitter.com/5lRYyPFXcp— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 15, 2020
Fellow India great Virender Sehwag highlighted Dhoni's coolness under pressure as crucial to his longevity at the top of international cricket.
"To have a player like him, Mission Impossible…Players will come and go but there won't be a calmer man like him," Sehwag wrote.
"Dhoni with his connect (sic) with people having aspirations was like a family member to many cricket lovers."
Not an azaadi cricket lovers wanted from.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 15, 2020
Thank you for the innumerable memories together and wish you a great and equally inspiring life ahead. https://t.co/WtT0Xd3A8H
To have a player like him,Mission Impossible. Na Koi Hai,Na Koi Tha, Na Koi Hoga MS ke jaisa. Players will come & go but there won’t be a calmer man like him. Dhoni with his connect with people having aspirations was like a family member to many cricket lovers. Om Finishaya Namah pic.twitter.com/glemkBUwWT
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 15, 2020
Suresh Raina, 33, added his own tribute on Instagram, in a post in which he confirmed he too is stepping away from international cricket.
"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," he wrote.
India batsman Shikhar Dhawan added simply: "Captain. Leader. Legend. Thanks Mahi bhai for everything you have done for the country!"
Ravichandran Ashwin said the memories of his triumphs alongside Dhoni will forever stay with him.
He wrote: "The legend retires in his own style as always, @msdhoni bhai you have given it all for the country.
The legend retires in his own style as always, @msdhoni bhai you have given it all for the country. The champions trophy triumph, 2011 World Cup and the glorious @ChennaiIPL triumphs will always be etched in my memory. Good luck for all your future endeavours. #MSDhoni— Ashwin ðÂÂ®ðÂÂ³ (@ashwinravi99) August 15, 2020
"The champions trophy triumph, 2011 World Cup and the glorious @ChennaiIPL triumphs will always be etched in my memory. Good luck for all your future endeavours. #MSDhoni."
Celebrated commentator Harsha Bhogle recited a famous poem:
And fans too have their say:
Helicopter has landed— Gedela chaitanya (@ChaituJSP) August 15, 2020
The era has come to an end
Torch bearer of #IndianTeam
You may retire from international cricket but not from our hearts
Miss you #DHONI on field#ThankYouMahi#Thala#ThalaDhoni#MSDhoni#Legend#mahi #dhoniretire#dhoniretired#PawanKalyanBirthdayCDP pic.twitter.com/F3qcDE6CJC
Two of the finest.— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) August 15, 2020
M S Dhoni exemplified everything right with India - confident, forward looking and deeply loyal to a cause.
Suresh Raina equally effective and a loyal team man.
Both have left cricket at a far better place than they inherited.
Thanks #Dhoni and #Raina. pic.twitter.com/S8GzbsGO6R
As long as cricket and Dhoni is there he will never b able to retire from the mind of millions of people like me who admire his contributions to the world of cricket#DhoniRetires #Dhoni #msdhoni pic.twitter.com/cISjP1AJXA— priyadarshan (@priyadarshandir) August 15, 2020
Captain cool..You will be missed for sure.— Priyanka Shukla (@PriyankaJShukla) August 15, 2020
Thank you #Dhoni for being constant source of joy for last 16 years of our lives ðÂÂÂ#DhoniRetires
As he received prestigious #PadmaBhushan in 2018.
Dhoni, an explosive batsman and quality wicketkeeper, also won the World Twenty20 in 2007 and helped his team ascend to the top of the Test rankings.
He last played for his country in the July 2019 World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand at Old Trafford.
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