Former Indian selector and international cricketer Saba Karim has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to retire jerseys of legendary Indian cricketers, including the celebrated ex-Indian skipper MS Dhoni.

“I think not only MS Dhoni’s jersey, 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,” Saba Karim said on the Khelneeti podcast.

 

 

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“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 added.

MS Dhoni won all major ICC honours in limited overs, as Indian captain (Image: ICC)

The Ranchi-born cricketer was last seen wearing the #7 of Team India’s blues at the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Around a year later, he decided to hang his boots, although he continues to play franchise cricket for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The fan-favourite number 7 jersey continues to remain vacant following Dhoni’s retirement. And after Karim’s recent views, fans have reignited their plea to freeze the shirt.

 

 

This campaign was first triggered after Dhoni called time on his international career in August last year. Led by his former teammates like Dinesh Karthik and Md Kaif, the #7 jersey was at the centre of homage paid to Dhoni’s contributions to Indian cricket.

 

 

“@BCCI should retire “Jersey Number 7” as a Tribute to Legend MS Dhoni,” a fan had written on Twitter.

Another fan had urged social media users to start trending “#RetireJersey7” since “Jersey number 7 was not just a number but an emotion the country is going to miss”.

 

In contrast with footballing traditions, cricket teams world-over have not yet adopted the concept of retiring shirts. Italian club Napoli had famously retired their #10 as a tribute to the famous footballer Diego Maradona while other such dedications have included AC Milan’s #3 for club legend Paolo Maldini.

Whether BCCI obliges to the request, for this first-of-its-kind decision in cricket, remains to be seen. If they do though, it could kickstart a pretty wholesome trend in the sport.

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Image: Twitter/ICC, Yuvraj Singh