What's in a jersey number? Ultimately, it's just a...digit? Ask this question to a sports fan, and they will tell you why exactly it's so important.
When someone steps on to the field wearing a certain number, and makes you proud time and again, it becomes something emotional for you to hold on to
Sachin Tendulkar's jersey 10, for instance.
And Dhoni's 7, which he chose because his birthday falls on the same date in July.
As an ardent fan of Dhoni and a self-proclaimed lover, I can't imagine anyone else wearing jersey 7 in the Indian cricket team.
"No.7" is merely not a jersey no. But an emotion which has no boundaries. Player like Dhoni is not born everyday. Please retire jersey no.7 and give proud farewell to Dhoni. #RetireJersey7#RetireJerseyNo7 #DhoniThePrideOfIndia @BCCI @ChennaiIPL @sardesairajdeep @rjraunac pic.twitter.com/tWMmWQhn5y— Tushar Raj 🇮🇳 (@tusharraj1304) August 17, 2020
It just doesn't sit right with me.
This is the last photo taken after our semis at the World Cup.lots of great memories through this journey. I hope the @bcci retire the #7 jersey in white ball cricket ❤️— DK (@DineshKarthik) August 16, 2020
Good luck with your second innings in life , I’m sure you’ll have a lot of surprises for us there too 🙂💖 pic.twitter.com/4kX4uPhPOO
Can't imagine any one else wearing a Number 7 India jersey again. Thank you for the unforgettable memories #MSDhoni. See you in UAE.— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) August 15, 2020
Jersey 7 has given me moments to cherish, ones that can never be replaced. And I want to keep it that way.
I want to keep the memory of Mahi uprooting the stumps while wearing that jersey.
I want to keep the memory of him going against his nature and getting excited in that jersey.
I want to keep the memory of him hitting the final 6 in the 2011 World Cup, in that jersey.
So to think that someone else will step on to the field wearing the same, is a bit unsettling.
And this is not to say that India will never see a talent like Mahi again. In strictly technical terms, there is no reason to believe that someone won't come and repeat the magic.
However, when it comes to jersey 7, it's more about emotions than technical stuff.
Yes, maybe they will do the exact same things, or even more. But this is where you start associating personal feelings with an event.
Dearest Captain Cool,— shreya.♡ (@_Lazy_being) August 15, 2020
Thanku for teaching us,how impossible can be made possible with hardwork and dedication.
The way you have been given a ray of hope to soo many dreamers is commendable.💕
Jersey No. 7 would be missed.💔
Cricket won't be same again.🥺 #Dhoni pic.twitter.com/97ZTNF4M1A
With @msdhoni’s retirement, I really wish @BCCI officially retires Jersey No. 7 as a tribute to #Dhoni..🙏— 🚩Vijay Gavaskar🚩 (@kolekarvijay121) August 15, 2020
A legend like #MSDhoni truly deserves it. Billions of people have developed this emotional bonding with him & that No. 7 Indian Jersey!!❤️@msdhoni #Team_KRT pic.twitter.com/ZjvbTDfISJ
On April 28, 2007, Dhoni sent Joginder Sharma to bowl the last over to Pakistan in the maiden World T20 final.
And their batsman Misbah-ul-Haq allowed emotions to get the better of him. He sent the ball flying, and was caught out by a carefully-placed Sreesanth.
You can count on fingers the number of times MS Dhoni let his emotions show like that on the field. In all 16 years of his career.
At that time, he was wearing number 7 jersey.
I can’t forget this Time plz💔— SHEHNAAZ GILL FC (@FC_ShehnaazGill) August 15, 2020
No replacement for Indian Jersey No.7 !!!
Thank You Dhoni for everything you’ve Done for the Indian Cricket Team💙
Your record as a captain is miles ahead of the rest !!
All the best for your future endeavors.#MSDhoni #DhoniRetires @msdhoni pic.twitter.com/lx5EP1bUyX
So, it goes beyond practical stuff, and in many ways, even victory and losses. Jersey 7 was Dhoni's, and Dhoni, ours.
And now with his retirement, for me the jersey has retired too.