MS Dhoni’s jersey number retired by BCCI

The custom of retiring jerseys in sports is a symbolic gesture that honors and pays tribute to exceptional athletes who have made significant contributions to a team or sport. When a team decides to retire a player’s jersey, it means that no other player on that team will be allowed to wear that specific jersey number in the future.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) retired the iconic No. 7  jersey of MS Dhoni. This is only the second instance of a similar commemoration. In 2017, four years after he hung up his boots, Sachin Tendulkar’s signature No. 10 jersey was retired by BCCI, following a social media backlash when Shardul Thakur wore it on his ODI debut in 2017.

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>Although there is no official rule to retire jerseys in cricket, a special instance happened when Cricket Australia retired the jersey number of Phil Hughes, a promising Australian batsman, who tragically died after being hit by a bouncer during a domestic match in 2014. No Australian player has worn the No. 64 jersey since then.

> Among cricket-playing nations, New Zealand has retired the most number of jerseys. These include No. 7 for Stephen Fleming, No. 11 for Daniel Vettori, No. 42 for Brendan McCullum, No. 5 for Chris Harris, No. 9 for Nathan Astle and No. 6 for Chris Cairns. Among India’s neighbours, Nepal Cricket Association has retired No. 77 jersey, worn by its former captain Paras Khadka.

>Michael Jordan, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, had his No. 23 jersey retired by the Chicago Bulls in 1994. Later, when he returned to the Bulls after a brief retirement, he wore the No. 45 jersey. After his second retirement, the Bulls retired both the No. 23 and No. 45 jerseys.

>Known as “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 jersey was retired by the Edmonton Oilers in 1999. Gretzky, considered the greatest ice hockey player in history, led the Oilers to multiple Stanley Cup victories and set numerous records during his illustrious career.

>The Los Angeles Lakers retired Magic Johnson’s No. 32 jersey in 1992 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s No. 33 jersey in 1989. Both players were instrumental in the Lakers’ success during the 1980s, winning multiple NBA championships.

>In 2017, the New York Yankees retired Derek Jeter’s No. 2 jersey to honor the iconic shortstop. Jeter, known for his leadership and clutch performances, played his entire 20-season career with the Yankees and won five World Series championships.

>The Boston Celtics retired the jerseys of Larry Bird (No. 33), Kevin McHale (No. 32), and Robert Parish (No. 00) in recognition of their contributions to the team’s success during the 1980s, a period that included multiple NBA championships.

>Brazilian soccer legend Pele had his No. 10 jersey retired by the New York Cosmos in 1977. As recently as December 2023, following Santos’ relegation, the club president announced no player of the team will wear the number 10 jersey made globally famous by Pelé until the club plays in the country’s first division again.

>No one at the Serie A club Napoli wears No. 10 since it was a number eternally connected to their greatest player ever — Diego Maradona, while Johan Cruyff’s iconic number 14 jersey was retired by Ajax Amsterdam in 2007.

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