New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to retire former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s iconic No. 7 jersey, three years after he hung his boots as an international cricketer, say reports.
This move symbolises respect and honours Dhoni’s legacy in Indian cricket, marking the end of an era with his retirement. It’s a gesture that acknowledges his immense impact and influence on the game, ensuring that his number will forever be associated with his remarkable achievements and leadership on the field.
The former skipper guided India to all three white-ball ICC titles — T20 World Cup 2007, ODI World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy 2013 — while wearing the No. 7
Sachin Tendulkar was the only other cricketer to receive a similar honor; back in 2017, his iconic No. 10 jersey was also retired, paying tribute to his legendary career and contributions to the sport.
The BCCI has informed players in the national team, especially the debutants, that they don’t have the option of numbers associated with Tendulkar and Dhoni, according to the Indian Express report.
“The young players and current Indian team players have been told not to pick M S Dhoni’s Number 7 jersey. The BCCI has decided to retire Dhoni’s T-shirt for his contribution to the game. A new player can’t get No. 7, and No. 10 was already off the list of available numbers,” said a senior Board official to the Indian Express.
While the ICC generally permits players to select any number from 1 to 100, in India, there are limitations on the available options for jersey numbers.
“At present, 60-odd numbers are designated to the regulars in the Indian team and those in contention. So even if a player is out of the team for about a year or so, we don’t give away his number to a new player. That means a recent debutant has just 30-odd numbers to choose from,” said a BCCI official added.
Mumbai fast bowler Shardul Thakur briefly donned the No. 10 shirt during his initial days in the Indian team and was promptly trolled by fans on social media. Yet, following a much-discussed incident, that number was retired. As for the No. 7 shirt, the BCCI promptly removed it from players’ availability.
Retiring jersey numbers is a powerful gesture to honor exceptional athletes and preserve their legacies. Icons like Diego Maradona in football and Michael Jordan in basketball had their jersey numbers retired as a testament to their extraordinary contributions to their respective sports.
It’s a way for teams to pay tribute to these legends and ensure their impact is forever remembered.