Paying a rich tribute to former India captain MS Dhoni, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to retire the No. 7 jersey. The shirt became synonymous with Dhoni, who remains India’s most successful captain when it comes to ICC events. While the great Sachin Tendulkar‘s No. 10 shirt was already retired by the Indian board, a decision has been made to add Dhoni’s No. 7 shirt to the list as well, honouring the contributions the wicket-keeper batter made to the Indian team in the game, sources have told NDTV.
It is understood that the BCCI has told players in the Indian team that they can’t wear No. 7 on their back while donning the Indian jersey, just like no one was allowed to pick the No. 10 shirt.
Even a report in the Indian Express confirmed that the No. 7 shirt is off the shelves for Indian players.
“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,” said a senior Board official told Indian Express.
During his early days in the Indian team, however, pacer Shardul Thakur did wear the No. 10 shirt for a brief period. However, the shirt was retired after that much-talked-about episode. In the case of No. 7 shirt, the BCCI acted swiftly and took the number out of players’ reach.
The BCCI official also confirmed that a total of 60 numbers have presently been allotted to the Indian team’s players.
“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.