With that, Dhoni brought down the curtains on his international career, leaving most of his teammates stumped. Within minutes, his CSK and former India teammate Suresh Raina, too, announced his international retirement. Though Dhoni did not specify whether his announcement was only regarding international cricket, CSK sources indicated that both he and Raina would continue playing for the franchise at least till IPL’s 2021 edition.
Dhoni’s announcement marks the end of an era for Indian cricket. His numbers are staggering, but they do not begin to capture the impact of the once long-haired boy from Ranchi whose canny captaincy, ice-cool demeanour under nerve-racking pressure and unorthodox brilliance paved the way for some of Indian cricket’s most memorable moments.
As the news broke out after practice at MA Chidambaram Stadium, those in the CSK dressing-room rushed to speak to him. Dhoni shrugged and told them to check Instagram. “Just felt like it,” was all he said, and started planning for Monday’s net session in his usual unflustured manner. Some things, at least, don’t change.