(Reuters) – Mahendra Singh Dhoni has stepped down as India’s limited-overs captain but will still be available for selection, the India cricket board (BCCI) said yesterday.
“Mahendra Singh Dhoni has informed the BCCI that he wishes to step down as the captain of the Indian Cricket Team from the One-Day Internationals and the T20 Internationals formats of the game,” the BCCI said in a statement.
Dhoni not only holds the record for most matches as captain of an international side, with 331 games across all formats, but also is the only captain to have won all three ICC Trophies — ODI World Cup, World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy.
Considered India’s most successful ever captain, Dhoni stunned everyone when he announced his decision to quit test cricket in the middle of an Australian tour in 2014, handing the mantle to Virat Kohli who is likely to be also given the reins in the shorter formats.
The BCCI, however, did not immediately name a successor.
The 35-year-old Dhoni, who was named captain in 2007, led the cricket-crazed country to the top of the world test rankings and is the only player to captain in more than 50 matches in each of the three formats.
Having made his international debut in 2004, Dhoni, whose life inspired a Bollywood biopic in 2016, quickly rose up the ranks in Indian cricket.
After being named captain of the Twenty20 side in 2007, Dhoni achieved immediate success as he guided India to the World Twenty20 title in South Africa.
Renowned for his calm on-field demeanour, he eventually became the ODI captain, succeeding Rahul Dravid when he relinquished the post, and then ascended to full-time test captain once Anil Kumble, now the India coach, retired.
One of Dhoni’s most iconic moments came in 2011 when he hit a massive six to end the country’s 28-year wait for the ODI World Cup.
“On behalf of every Indian cricket fan and the BCCI, I would like to thank MS Dhoni for his outstanding contribution as the captain of the Indian team across all formats,” BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri said in a statement.
“Under his leadership, the Indian team has touched new heights and his achievements will remain etched forever in the annals of Indian cricket.”
Dhoni led India in 199 ODIs, of which he won 110 and lost 74, and was captain in 72 Twenty20s, of which India won 41 and lost 28. His last series as captain came against New Zealand at home, where he led the Indian side to a 3-2 series win.
Dhoni will be available for selection for the ODI and Twenty20 series against England, starting Jan. 15.