On this Independence Day, no one had imagined that Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina, two of the most senior cricket players of Indian National Team will announce the unexpected news of their retirement from international cricket. Both these legendary players had served as the captains of the Indian team and also as the members of the 2011 Cricket World Cup Winning Team. They could have chosen a decorative gala farewell for them, but instead they left quietly, just like a player goes back to the pavilion after a great innings.
‘Caption Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is famous for surprising his fans with his sudden and unprecedented decisions, kept his style alive by uploading a remembrance video of his journey on his Instagram account, with his favorite song Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hoon– a composition of the renowned poet and lyricist, Sahir Ludhianvi playing in the background. The caption written was “Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout.from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired” which thoroughly cleared all the related speculations.
Fans and media had still not been able to digest this shock when Suresh Raina too was ready with his surprise. Just after few hours, he posted a photo on his account which many initially considered it to be a farewell post for his recently retired colleague. But through its caption, which said, “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. Jai Hind!”
Both Dhoni and Raina are small town boys who have played together in the national team for more than a decade. Moreover both have been the members of the same Indian Premier League (IPL) team ‘Chennai Super Kings’ where while Dhoni is the captain, Raina serves as the Vice-Caption. It is further seen that on many occasions, the families of both had been seen enjoying their time together.
It must be mentioned that in his one and half decade long international cricket journey beginning in 2004, Dhoni named many records to his name which would remain a lead to follow for many upcoming generations of cricketers. It was under his captaincy in the limited overs from 2007 to 2016 that India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Dhoni is one of the highest run scorers in One Day Internationals (ODIs) with more than 10,000 runs scored and is considered an effective “finisher” and one of the best wicket-keepers and captains in modern limited-overs international cricket. In 2016, a biographical film based on his life titled ‘M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story’ starring Sushant Singh Rajput as protagonist was released, thus, making his journey immortal for his fans.
Suresh Kumar Raina, who although joined the national team quite later than Dhoni, but he too had a great career throughout. Considered as one of the best fielders in world cricket, he had played an essential role in the victory of team India in important places. When he captained team India briefly, he was the second-youngest Indian to do so. This wizard with the bat is the first Indian batsman to hit a century in all three formats of international cricket.
It must be learned that during the recent years, a huge ceremonial event and parties had been held to celebrate the journey of the retiring players with a series of interviews and programs on the TV channels. But the simplest announcement of retirement by Dhoni-Raina is suggestive that they didn’t commercialise this big news of their cricketing career, rather wanted to disclose it directly to the people who matter to them, that is their ‘fans’. Both cricketers, like good friends together, finished their innings of life and moved forward for another where they would cherish their journeys and inspire the upcoming generations of sportsmen to be another Dhoni-Raina for the country, which one day would do wonders in this amazing sport called – Cricket.
Aashish Kochhar is a student pursuing History from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Rutba Iqbal.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.