M S Dhoni’s iconic No. 7 jersey retired, no longer up for grabs

M S Dhoni\’s iconic No. 7 jersey will remain exclusively associated with him among Indian cricketers. Three years following his retirement from international cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has chosen to \’retire\’ the number as a tribute to his substantial contributions to the sport.

Sachin Tendulkar is the only other cricketer to receive a similar honor, with his iconic No. 10 jersey being permanently retired in 2017.

The BCCI has conveyed to players in the national team, especially those new to the squad, that they are not allowed to select numbers linked to Tendulkar and Dhoni. A senior BCCI official explained, \”The young players and current Indian team players have been told not to pick M S 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.\”

This decision by the BCCI narrows down the choices for Team India players. Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) permits players to choose any number between 1 and 100, the options are more limited in India. A BCCI official clarified, \”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.\”

Retiring jersey numbers worn by legendary players is a longstanding tradition in sports. Teams like Napoli in Serie A and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA have retired numbers associated with iconic players such as Diego Maradona and Michael Jordan. Similarly, when Tendulkar\’s No. 10 jersey was retired in 2017, it became off-limits for other players. This practice ensures that specific numbers forever symbolize the legacy of extraordinary athletes, recognizing the distinctiveness of their contributions to the sport.

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