India's most successful captain MS Dhoni, on Saturday, August 15, announced his retirement from international cricket.
The former skipper shared a video on his Instagram account and wrote: "Thanks. Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout. From 1929 hours, consider me retired."
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined in to pay tribute to the former India skipper, calling him not just a sportsperson but a phenomenon, which was much appreciated by MSD.
"On 15th August, in your trademark unassuming style you shared a short video that was enough to become a long and passionate discussion point for the entire nation," Modi said in a letter addressed to Dhoni.
"130 crore Indians were disappointed but also eternally grateful for all that you have done for Indian cricket in the last decade-and-a-half," he added.
MSD replied with a tweet: "An Artist, soldier and sportsperson what they crave for is appreciation, that their hard work and sacrifice is getting noticed and appreciated by everyone. Thanks PM @narendramodi for your appreciation and good wishes."
Dhoni, who made his ODI debut in 2004, changed the face of Indian cricket with his calm demeanour, sharp understanding of the game and astute leadership qualities. He represented India in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20Is.
One of the most admired and respected cricketers, Dhoni is also among the most successful captains in world cricket. It was under his leadership that India lifted the World Cup in 2011 after having led India to triumph in the World T20 in its maiden edition of the tournament held in 2007 in South Africa. With India winning the Champions Trophy in 2013 in England, Dhoni became the first and is still the only captain to have won all three ICC Trophies.
Towards the end, the Prime Minister wished Dhoni for his life beyond cricket and hoped that the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman would now get more time to spend with his wife Sakshi and daughter Ziva.
"I hope Sakshi and Ziva get to spend more time with you. I convey my good wishes to them as well, because without their sacrifices and support nothing would have been possible," said Modi
"Our youth could also learn from you how to balance professional and personal priorities; I remember seeing a picture of you playing with your cute daughter even as everyone around you was celebrating a victory in a particular tournament! That was vintage MS Dhoni.
"Wishing you the very best for your future endeavours," he signed off.
Here are some reactions on Modi's tribute: