MS Dhoni’s iconic No. 7 won’t be given to any other cricketer; BCCI retires Mahi’s iconic jersey number

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has retired MS Dhoni’s iconic No. 7 jersey, Indian Express reported while citing BCCI sources. This decision comes three years after Dhoni retired from international cricket.

Previously, the BCCI bestowed a similar honour on Sachin Tendulkar when they retired his No. 10 jersey in 2017. This practice of retiring jerseys is not uncommon in sports and serves as a way to recognise the extraordinary contributions of legendary players.

The BCCI has informed the national team players, particularly the newcomers, about the unavailability of numbers 7 and 10, previously worn by Dhoni and Tendulkar, respectively. A senior Board official told the publication that new players had been prohibited from choosing these numbers to uphold the legacy of these cricketing icons.

“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 publication quoted a BCCI official as saying.

Retiring jersey beyond cricket

The practice of retiring jersey numbers extends beyond cricket. Italian football club Napoli retired their No. 10 jersey in honour of Diego Maradona. The Chicago Bulls did the same with their No. 23 jersey for Michael Jordan.

Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 in Major League Baseball (MLB) was retired. In 1997, MLB universally retired it in honour of the first African-American player in the league.

The National Hockey League (NHL) retired Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 in 1999. Gretzky, known as the “Great One”, holds numerous NHL records. He is widely considered the greatest hockey player ever.

The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission retired Muhammad Ali’s No. 3 in 2007. In addition to arguably being the greatest boxer ever, Ali’s outspoken personality and his fight for social justice cemented his place as a global icon.

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Published: 15 Dec 2023, 10:48 AM IST

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