Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim has requested the BCCI to retire the iconic No.7 jersey as a mark of respect to MS Dhoni's contributions to Indian cricket. Dhoni, considered among the most successful captains to have graced the sport, celebrated his 40th birthday on Wednesday.
Dhoni is the only captain in the history of the sport to have won three ICC trophies – T20 World Cup (2007), ODI World Cup (2011) and Champions Trophy (2013). It was under the leadership of the Ranchi stalwart that India clinched the first spot in both Test and ODI formats of the sport.
Under Dhoni, India won 41 Test matches out of 72, 110 ODI matches out of 200, and 27 T20I games out of 60. On the batting front, he gathered 17,226 runs in his international career, establishing himself as a "finisher" and dishing out exemplary performances in crunch run-chases.
According to Karim, the Indian board must preserve jerseys of Indian "legends" including Dhoni to give "much-deserved" respect to them. “I think not only MS Dhoni’s jersey, but the BCCI must also preserve the jerseys of many other Indian legends. They must also ensure that the jersey number of that legend is not worn by anyone else.
In this manner, one can recognize the achievements and the contributions of the greats of Indian cricket. Most importantly, by doing so you give some much-deserved respect to such legends," he said in the Khelneeti podcast.
Dhoni may have retired from international cricket, but the ex-India skipper continues to be a crucial part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) set-up. Karim feels Dhoni can mentor and groom young guns at the Chennai-based outfit.
Dhoni will be seen in action when IPL 2021 resumes in the UAE in September. Chennai Super Kings were second on the points table with five wins out of seven when the lucrative T20 league was postponed due to growing COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble.
“Although he is no longer part of international cricket, I hope he can continue serving Indian cricket, just like he did all these years. He is grooming a lot of youngsters with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). I wish he keeps mentoring and guiding young players at the state level as well. If that happens, it will be great for the future of Indian cricket," said Karim.