Mumbai: Even though MS Dhoni declared his retirement on August 15, 2020, everyone who witnessed India’s World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand on July 10, 2019, at the Old Trafford Cricket Stadium in Manchester, felt the time had come. It was obvious that this was the last time the world would see Dhoni in Indian colors by the way he walked the length of the changing room, face down the entire time, with the entire media box on its toes, cheering the great man.
In one of the most spectacular farewells to a global and illustrious career, Dhoni, raring to go, failed to go out for fifty. A career that had begun 15 years ago with a run-out, ended in another, resulting in a heartbreak some Indian cricket fans are yet to come to terms with.
On Independence Day, Dhoni publicly declared his retirement, much to the delight of the whole country, who was waiting to see if one more season with CSK would open the door for his comeback to the Indian squad. But deep down, he knew that following India’s World Cup defeat, he would no longer play international cricket.
“It gets difficult to control your emotions when you have lost a close game. And inside, I had made my entire planning. To me, that was the last day I played cricket for India. I took retirement a year later but the fact is that, that day I had retired. We cricketers are given certain machines and all of that. So every time I went to the trainer I gave it back to him. He said ‘No you keep it. And in my mind, I am like ‘How do I tell him I won’t be needing or using it anymore’. I didn’t want to announce it at that point in time,” Dhoni said during an event.
A cricket player’s retirement is never easy, especially for those whose life have revolved around the game since they were young. Therefore, it is not surprising that Dhoni needed some time to come to this realisation. The greatest white-ball skipper in Indian history, who was the only person to win all three major ICC events, let alone in a six-year period, had retired to the sunset. Dhoni’s career in India was ended, but the world would still get to see his brilliance in the IPL. Everything he had accomplished was now history.
“You are high on emotions. The only thing you’ve done in the last 12-15 years is play cricket. And then there is no more chance of you representing the country. There are so many people but only few get that opportunity. And sportspersons, they have that. Irrespective of which sport you play, you are representing your country. Be it Commonwealth Games, Olympics. So once I quit cricket, there was no way I could do that. I could no longer bring any glory. All those things are going on in mind,” mentioned Dhoni.