The retirement decision of Mahendra Singh Dhoni unleashed a wave of emotions around the cricket fraternity. The decision was inevitable and fans were getting prepared of seeing Team India playing without their talismanic stumper MS Dhoni. Though, not a single soul had thought of him leaving the playing arena without gracing the 22-yard strip for the one last time.
The former Indian skipper took it to Instagram for announcing his departure as he uploaded a video capturing his journey from 2004 to 2019 World Cup Semifinal. In the background, ‘Mein Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar’ song was awakening the pain in the chest of Indian fans. The four-minute-long video was followed by a caption, reading “Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. From 19:29 hrs consider me as Retired.”
The Indian Premier League remains the only source to witness Dhoni’s magical touch with the bat and his captaincy skill. The tournament is proposed to go underway from September 19 in UAE. But fans and experts had never imagined that a servant of Indian cricket of his stature will go without a proper farewell.
Everybody was pondering how to swallow this pill just when Suresh Raina dropped another shocker of news by joining Dhoni in this journey. Raina played his last international game against England in 2018. Since then, he was not considered in the Indian squad leading to his retirement. Hence, he is also deprived from wearing the Indian Blue.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released a statement congratulating Dhoni for a magnificent career but nothing related to a farewell fixture was mentioned there. And this is not the first time that an Indian legend is hanging their boots without getting a farewell.
Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble are the only players from the golden age of 2000’s who bid adieu to a packed audience. And the list of legendary Indian cricketers without a farewell is long – Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and, in all likelihood, Harbhajan Singh – none of them got their share of homage by BCCI.
Captain. Legend. Inspiration.🌟
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 16, 2020
Everybody knows how Sachin Tendulkar’s last game panned out at Wankhede Stadium. The atmosphere was heavenly, to say the least, while the whole city, Mumbai, was decorated like a pilgrimage. And one can’t expect a lesser reception for India’s greatest captain, who led them to three ICC trophies.
However, Cricket Australia and England Cricket Board’s approaches are different than BCCI’s in this context. They allow their players to soak in all the applause and respect they have earned over the years by serving the nation. Indian board cares way too less in this regard. Putting the players under peer pressure to retire apart from not giving a clear vision going forward tells how the world’s richest cricket board can’t care less about their players.
Amidst, Dhoni is a man away from all these notions. He walked away silently from the Test cricket and did the same when handed over the captaincy baton to Virat Kohli. Neither stole the limelight nor shying down to give the credit where it’s due.
Though, he deserved the centre stage for one last time. To lead the team into the park. To set the unconventional fielding. To chirp into spinners’ head from behind the wickets. To lightning-quick stumpings. To land the final blow with a six. To finish things off in style.
Had only BCCI urged him to stay for one last game!!