The two-time World Cup-winning captain kept everyone guessing about his retirement till the end but when he finally did, it left the cricket world overwhelmed with emotions
What you've done for the country will always remain in everyone's heart, said Sachin Tendulkar
NEW DELHI :
It trembled after the tremor. But the cricket community soon got its act together. It had to, to remember, savour, cherish and exhaust its stock of superlatives of all manner to adorn Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the eternal enigma quietly walked into international sunset.
The two-time World Cup-winning captain kept everyone guessing about his retirement till the end but when he finally did, it left the cricket world overwhelmed with emotions.
Such was the impact he had had on his teammates like Suresh Raina that the southpaw chose to retire from international cricket on the same day.
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar had broken a plethora of records but the elusive World Cup win only came at the fag end of his career and under Dhoni's leadership.
"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," tweeted Tendulkar.
Virat Kohli became the champion cricketer that he is under Dhoni's leadership and the latter's retirement naturally made the current India skipper emotional.
"Every cricketer has to end his journey one day, but still when someone you've gotten to know so closely announces that decision, you feel the emotion much more.
"What you've done for the country will always remain in everyone's heart, but the mutual respect and warmth I've received from you will always stay in mine. The world has seen achievements, I've seen the person. Thanks for everything skip. I tip my hat to you," wrote Kohli on Twitter.
In his appreciation for Dhoni, BCCI president and former India skipper Sourav Ganguly wrote: "It is 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.
"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 will finish with no regrets on the field."
India head coach Ravi Shastri said Dhoni's professionalism stood out.
"Massive boots to fill. It’s been a privilege and honour to be part of the dressing room and seeing you as a thoroughbred professional at work. Salute one of India’s greatest cricketers. Second to none. Enjoy. God Bless," he wrote.
For his another World Cup-winning teammate Virender Sehwag, there can be none like Dhoni.
"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," Sehwag wrote on his social media account.
He stumped everyone when he announced his retirement from Tests in the middle of a series in Australia and again, most did not know when he decided to hand over the limited overs captaincy to Kohli.
"I think it was a surprise for all of us," said CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan, who sees Dhoni continuing for the Chennai franchise for at least another couple of years.
Irfan Pathan, who himself announced his retirement in January, said the legendary skipper had to leave the game one day.
"It was coming like every legend has to retire one day. It was Mahi today," he told PTI.
In his tweet, Pathan added: "It was a privilege to have played with a friend and a cricketer who gave many laurels to our country on the cricketing field, very very greatly done on your career".
Dhoni put Ranchi on the world map and his rise in international cricket was nothing short of remarkable, said former India batsman VVS Laxman.
"Seeing Dhoni's journey from a small town boy into a match-winner and one of the most astute leaders the world has seen was remarkable.
"Thank you for the wonderful memories, Mahi. It was my privilege to play alongside you and I will always cherish the memories we shared together," Laxman wrote.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan said Dhoni would go down as arguably the best white-ball captain and finisher ever.
"The 2011 World Cup win was @sachin_rt (Tendulkar) farewell but masterminded by MS Dhoni ... What an incredible international career ... You could argue the greatest ever white ball captain & finisher ... Cheers for all the memories MS," he wrote on Twitter.
Ex-Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja wrote: "MS Dhoni retires from international cricket! Great leader, great record, great entertainer and best in the world at a DRS read, but above all MS will be remembered for being a lead cast in Indian cricket's iconic moments.'
Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar said "the story of cricket will never be complete without him".
Ravichandran Ashwin wrote: "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".
Kris Srikkanth was the chief selector when India won the 2011 World Cup. He rated Dhoni among the best leaders the game has seen.
"You were one of the best captains ever to step onto a cricket field & I m blessed to have shared some special moments with you! I wish you and your family the same success in your next innings!"
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.