India great Dhoni retires from international cricket

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FILE- In this Tuesday, March 8, 2016, file photo, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni attends a press conference prior to their practice match for the ICC World T20 cricket tournament in Kolkata, India. India great Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. Under Dhoni’s stewardship, India won the T20 World Cup in 2007, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013. (AP Photo/Bikas Das, File)

NEW DELHI (AP) — India great Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday.

“Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout. From 1929 hours consider me as retired,” the 39-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman posted on his Instagram account.

The news came as he joined his Chennai Super Kings teammates ahead of next month’s Indian Premier League tournament which will be held in the United Arab Emirates because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dhoni, who played in 90 tests, 350 one-day internationals and 98 Twenty20s for his country, was dropped from India’s list of 27 centrally contracted players in January.

Fellow India great S​achin Tendulkar said Dhoni’s contribution had been immense. “Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life,” the 47-year-old former batting maestro tweeted. “Wishing you and your family all the very best for your 2nd innings.”

Dhoni has not played international cricket since last year’s 50-over World Cup.

He made his test debut in 2005 and retired from the longer format of the game nine years later.

Dhoni was one of his country’s most successful captains before standing down as skipper of the limited-over teams in 2017.

Under his stewardship, India won the T20 World Cup in 2007, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013.

The team also reached the top of the test rankings in 2009 under his leadership.

In tests, Dhoni made 4,876 runs with the bat, averaging 38. He hit 33 half-centuries and six centuries, and also took 256 catches and made 38 stumpings.

In ODIs, he totaled 10,773 runs, averaging 50. He hit 73 half-centuries and 10 centuries, and also took 321 catches and made 123 stumpings.

In T20s, Dhoni made 1,617 runs, averaging 37. He hit two half-centuries, and also took 57 catches and made 34 stumpings.

Shortly after Dhoni’s announcement, former India all-rounder Suresh Raina also said he was retiring from international cricket

“It was nothing but lovely playing with you (Dhoni),” Raina, a Chennai teammate, wrote on Instagram. “With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India.”

As well as 18 tests and 78 T20s, the 33-year-old Raina played in 226 ODIs, where he averaged 35 with the bat, including 36 half-centuries and five 100s, and took 36 wickets.

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