Dhoni steps down as captain of ODI, T20I teams

Dhoni steps down as captain of  ODI, T20I teams

Marking the end of a glorious period in Indian cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down as captain of the country’s limited-overs cricket team on Wednesday, just days ahead of the ODI and T20I series against England.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Dhoni’s decision through a statement on Wednesday night, two days prior to the selection of the team for the three ODIs and as many T20Is that will kick off at Pune on January 15.

“Mahendra Singh Dhoni has informed the BCCI that he wishes to step down as the captain of the Indian cricket team from the ODI and the T20 International  formats of the game,” the BCCI statement said.

“He will be available for selection for the ODI and T20 series against England and the same has been conveyed to the Senior Selection Committee,” the statement added.

The 35-year-old Dhoni, who had stepped down as Test captain in December 2014, led the country in 199 ODIs and 72 T20 internationals, notching up some unique achievements along the way.

Known as Captain Cool, Dhoni’s  most glorious moment came in 2011 when he led the country to victory in the 50-over World Cup, while four years previously, he had also captained the country to success in the inaugural World T20 in South Africa. He was captain in 60 Test matches, having won 27 and lost 18.

No reason was given for Dhoni’s sudden decision but calls have been mounting from several quarters to hand the captaincy in all formats to Virat Kohli, who has been enjoying a stupendous run, both as captain and as a batsman. Dhoni last led India in the one-day series against New Zealand, won by the country 3-2.

The BCCI thanked Dhoni for his contributions. “On behalf of every Indian cricket fan and the BCCI, I would like to thank M S Dhoni for his outstanding contribution as the captain of the Indian team across all formats. Under his leadership, Indian team has touched new heights and his achievements will remain etched forever in the annals of Indian cricket,” BCCI chief executive officer Rahul Johri said.

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