MS Dhoni's retirement from international cricket came as a shock to his colleagues and fans, who took to social media to pay tribute to a man who was to them variously a captain, leader, legend, mentor and friend.
"It is the end of an era," Sourav Ganguly, BCCI president, said in a statement. "His leadership qualities have been something which will be hard to match, especially in the shorter format of the game. His batting in one-day cricket in his early stages made the world stand up and notice his flair and sheer natural brilliance.
"Every good thing comes to an end and this has been an absolutely brilliant one. He has set the standards for the wicket-keepers to come and make a mark for the country. He will finish with no regrets on the field. An outstanding career; I wish him the best in life."
Virat Kohli, who took over captaincy from Dhoni, was emotional. "The world has seen achievements, I've seen the person," he wrote.
Every cricketer has to end his journey one day, but still when someone you've gotten to know so closely announces that decision, you feel the emotion much more. What you've done for the country will always remain in everyone's heart...... pic.twitter.com/0CuwjwGiiS— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 15, 2020
but the mutual respect and warmth I've received from you will always stay in mine. The world has seen achievements, I've seen the person. Thanks for everything skip. I tip my hat to you 👏🇮🇳 @msdhoni— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 15, 2020
Dhoni's India team-mates paid tribute to their skipper, mentor, elder brother and friend.
Thank you @msdhoni bhai for your contribution to Indian cricket, and the mentorship over the years. Congratulations on a remarkable career, and best wishes for the journey ahead! pic.twitter.com/pQfIzEJnHe— cheteshwar pujara (@cheteshwar1) August 15, 2020
There is and will only be one MS Dhoni. Honestly, words have absolutely no depth and don’t justify what you’ve offered to India and to the world. Mahi bhai, I LOVE YOU! 💛 @msdhoni pic.twitter.com/yEAhJW4Cfs— Krunal Pandya (@krunalpandya24) August 15, 2020
From “India A” to “The India” our journey has been full of question marks, commas, blanks & exclamations. Now as you put a full stop to your chapter, I can tell u from experience that the new phase is as exciting and there’s no limit to DRS here!!! Well played @msdhoni @BCCI— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) August 15, 2020
Thanks for everything Mahi Bhai...you will always be special for me, have learnt so much from you! Always wishing you the best! pic.twitter.com/4MFQvHbAzN— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) August 15, 2020
Congratulations @msdhoni on a great International career. It was an honour to play alongside. Your calm demeanour and the laurels you brought as skipper will forever be remembered and cherished. Wishing you the very best.— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) August 15, 2020
Seeing Dhoni’s journey from a small town boy into a match-winner and one of the most astute leaders the world has seen was remarkable. Thank you for the wonderful memories, Mahi. It was my privilege to play alongside you and I will always cherish the memories we shared together. pic.twitter.com/NgCUdR6aSN— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 15, 2020
A little boy had a dream of batting on the other end of the pitch with you. That little boy’s dream came true 🤩 Learning from you and being close to you has been the highest privilege. India will always be proud of @msdhoni 🇮🇳 Enjoy the journey ahead Mahi bhai 🤗 Legend 🙌🏻 #7 pic.twitter.com/iGlrQEQJTG— Rishabh Pant (@RishabhPant17) August 15, 2020
The legend retires in his own style as always, @msdhoni bhai you have given it all for the country. The champions trophy triumph, 2011 World Cup and the glorious @ChennaiIPL triumphs will always be etched in my memory. Good luck for all your future endeavours. #MSDhoni— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) August 15, 2020
As a player, Dhoni holds the respect of his opponents too.
One of the true legends of Indian cricket and one of the greatest captains, congratulations on a great career MS Dhoni! All the best for your future. https://t.co/ruw8hQ5z8Z— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) August 15, 2020
Congratulations on a fabulous career as a captain and as a player @msdhoni was fantastic to play against you.wish you all the very best for your next chapter champion.Stay blessed— Angelo Mathews (@Angelo69Mathews) August 15, 2020
MSDhoni retires from international cricket! Great leader, great record, great entertainer and best in the world at a DRS read, but above all MS will be remembered for being a lead cast in Indian cricket’s iconic moments.— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) August 15, 2020
The women's cricketers also took to social media to congratulate the former India skipper.
Congratulations on a remarkable career @msdhoni sir and thank you for your contribution to Indian Cricket. You have been a true inspiration for the entire nation and I wish you the best for your journey ahead! We will forever miss you in Blue! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/PIW7UtO70d— Smriti Mandhana (@mandhana_smriti) August 16, 2020
I (we) feel fortunate that, I (we) lived and played cricket in "The Mahi Era"...learnt a lot from you @msdhoni sir...You have changed the whole mindset of Indian Cricket...!!— Deepti Sharma (@Deepti_Sharma06) August 16, 2020
you will be missed...Big Congratulations for such a wonderful career💐💐
Keep inspiring us #captaincool pic.twitter.com/VR6xtIXzoA
A true ambassador of the game 🙏🏽@msdhoni— Bismah Maroof 🇵🇰 (@maroof_bismah) August 15, 2020
Thank you for all the inspirations, lessons, leadership, sportsmanship and much much more.
You'll be missed and remembered forever. All the best for your second innings. #GOAT pic.twitter.com/cthIzRYxId
The man who immortalised jersey no.7, whose sharp mind and a cool head earned him the tag of #CaptionCool , the man who fulfilled billion indian dreams by two World Cup trophies and who bid adieu in his inimitable style. Congratulations #MSDhoni on an outstanding career #Thala pic.twitter.com/3mpjVX268l— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) August 16, 2020
One of my all time favs.... what an incredible cricketer, the game will miss a true legend 🙌🏻 https://t.co/5JmlEgxJtX— Marizanne Kapp (@kappie777) August 15, 2020
What are your favourite memories of Dhoni?
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