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January 07, 2021

Mahendra Singh Dhoni Retires - Right time to Retire - Fading into the Sunset


Just thinking aloud! it is very difficult for sports legends to fade off into the sunset gracefully.
Either they have to be dumped or have to be removed forcefully. For a very long time Virendra Shewag persisted to play and hoped for a recall and Harbhajan still has not retired!
At the end of their careers Kapil Dev and Sachin more or less played for records. 434 wickets for Kapil and 100 test centuries for Sachin. It was quite painful to see them continue.
Players like Dravid and VVS Laxman had an inglorious retirement. The guy to retire in a flash was Adam Gilchrist who retired the minute he missed what he considered a regulation catch (in his view).
The Indian I admire who timed his retirement to a perfection is Sunil Gavaskar. He played a gem of an inning, 97 not out, almost guided India to a win against arch rivals Pakistan in 1987! He retired when he was at his peak! He retired when people were thirsting to see him bat on and on. But Gavaskar knew when to call it a day!
This is what Vijay Hazare once said about retirement, "retire when people ask why? Not when people ask why not?" How very thought provoking!!!
Why this monologue? I am quite perplexed at the negative publicity Dhoni is getting online. Ofcourse most of it is from Twitter which is known for blowing things out of proportion, but it is a medium that many swear-by and follow.
This is the same Dhoni that entire cricket world waited with bated breath to return. Pages and pages and many GBs of space was spent on him and within 4 days of IPL starting he has become the topic for heated discussion.
Do we want to remember Dhoni for all his exploits and his services to Indian cricket from 2004 to 2019 or do we want to remember Dhoni as he is portrayed in the dog-eat-dog world of social media! Choice is ours!

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