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MS Dhoni's Legendary '7' Shirt Retired By BCCI, Number Made Unavailable To New Players - Report

The number seven will no longer be available to don for any new players entering the Indian senior cricketing set-up, after the Board of Control for Cricket in India chose to retire it as an homage to former skipper MS Dhoni - says report

MS Dhoni (right) and Yuvraj Singh (left) playing for India
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Indian senior players, new and old, will no longer be allowed to pick the number seven shirt that Mahendra Singh Dhoni wore during his tenure with the team - says a report. As an homage to the former India captain, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has chose to retire the shirt, withdrawing it from the number pool available to new players to pick their favoured digits from. (More Cricket News)

Dhoni, as it happens, is only the second-ever Indian cricket to be bestowed this honour after the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, whose iconic number '10' has been put out of bounds. In a celebrated career, Dhoni played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is for India. Still a fan favourite, he remains the only Indian captain to win two World Cups (T20 in 2007 and ODI in 2011).

“The young players and current Indian team players have been told not to pick MS 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 BCCI Official to Indian Express. 

“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."

The legendary wicketkeeper-batter, who retired from international cricket on August 15, 2020, is expected to lead defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Known as one of the greatest ambassadors of the game, the 42-year-old from Ranchi made his India debut in December 2004, in an ODI match against Bangladesh.

Dhoni, meanwhile, joins a list of players who have had their numbers withdrawn from selection due to the sheer weight of their contributions - or as a tribute for their untimely passing - which includes the likes of Paolo Maldini (AC Milan), George Weah (Liberia), Marc-Vivien Foe (Manchester City), Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls), Jude Bellingham (Birmingham City) and many, many more.

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