After Sachin Tendulkar's Number 10, MS Dhoni's Jersey No.7 Is Also Retired: Report MS Dhoni. (Image: ANI)

In what is a fascinating new development, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to retire the Number 7 jersey as a tribute to the man who wore it for 16 years while playing cricket for India’s men’s team. He is none other than MS Dhoni. ‘Thala’ as he is popularly called in Chennal last played for India in 2019 and retired from all forms of international cricket in August 2020. Three years later, BCCI has decided to retire the jersey.

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Before Dhoni’s No 7 jersey, BCCI had also retired cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar’s No 10 jersey. Tendulkar’s jersey was retired in 2017 after Shardul Thakur faced massive trolling for wearing it in one of the matches. Fans associated the number 10 with Tendulkar and could not see anyone else wear that number on their backs.

It was also felt that these jersey numbers have become so iconic that the ones who will wear them next will have to bear the unnecessary pressure of living up to the same standards. 

The Indian Express newspaper reports that BCCI have already told he young and current players that jerseny number 7 is no more available to be picked. “The young players and current Indian team players have been told not to pick MS 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,” said a senior Board official told the newspaper.

ICC allows cricketers to pick any number from 1 to 100 to be on the back of their jerseys. When a fresher is picked in the national team, he or she is asked which number does he or she want on their back. If the number is available, it is given to that player. For example, Shubman Gill wanted the number 7 on his back during the U19 World Cup in 2018 but because it was not available, he settled for two 7s. He has 77 on his back, both on India and Gujarat Titans (GT) jerseys.

It should also be noted that BCCI provides just 60-odd numbers to players to choose from. “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,” said a BCCI official.

Earlier this year, Yashasvi Jaiswal wanted to play for India with number 19 on his back. However, that number is with Dinesh Karthik currently. He is inactive and not part of the national team but the number will be available only when Karthik retires from all forms of international cricket. Jasiwal opted for number 64 when he was not given the number 19.

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