Retiring Sports Jersey Numbers a good idea or not ?

Dec 15, 2023 - 19:03
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Retiring Sports Jersey Numbers a good idea or not ?

While retiring a jersey number may be seen as a gesture of respect and appreciation for a player's contribution, it has its drawbacks and may not be considered a universally good idea. Here are some reasons why retiring MS Dhoni's jersey number 7 may not be the best approach:

1. **Future Players' Aspirations:**
   - Young cricketers often grow up idolizing players and may have the aspiration to wear the same number as their role models. By retiring a number, the cricket board limits the dreams and aspirations of young players who might want to emulate Dhoni and wear the number 7 jersey.

2. **Team Tradition and Continuity:**
   - Cricket teams often have a tradition of passing down jersey numbers to players who have earned it. Retiring a number disrupts this tradition and can impact the sense of continuity within the team. The number 7 jersey could have been seen as a prestigious number that players aspire to earn based on their performance and achievements.

3. **Brand and Marketing Opportunities:**
   - Retiring a jersey number may limit the commercial and marketing opportunities associated with that number. A popular jersey number can be a significant brand identifier, and retiring it might restrict the board's ability to capitalize on the popularity of that number for merchandise and promotional activities.

4. **Precedent for Other Players:**
   - Retiring a jersey number sets a precedent that may need to be followed for other legendary players in the future. This could lead to a situation where several numbers are retired, limiting the available options for new players and diluting the uniqueness of the gesture.

5. **Player Autonomy:**
   - Players should have the autonomy to choose their jersey numbers based on personal preferences and superstitions. Restricting players from wearing a particular number might create unnecessary pressure or discomfort for them.

6. **Changing Dynamics of the Game:**
   - The dynamics of cricket are constantly evolving, and the retirement of a jersey number may not resonate with future generations of fans who may have different heroes and preferences. The decision may become less relevant over time.

While honoring Dhoni's contribution is essential, there are alternative ways to pay tribute without restricting the availability of a jersey number. A more flexible approach, such as creating a commemorative patch or symbol on the jersey, could serve the purpose of acknowledging Dhoni's legacy without imposing limitations on future players.

This is in reference to a recent news article :

MS Dhoni wore number 7 at the back of his jersey from his first international match to his last international match for India. Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's jersey number seven was retired by the BCCI and the number won't be available for any young cricketer to be used behind his Men in Blue jersey, in future. An Indian Express report said that youngsters in the team were informed to not pick the number as the board had decided to retire the jersey as a gesture for the wicketkeeper batter's contribution to Indian cricket. "The young players and current Indian team players have been told not to pick M S Dhoni’s Number 7 jersey. The BCCI has decided to retire Dhoni’s T-shirt for his contribution to the game. A new player can’t get No. 7, and No. 10 was already off the list of available numbers," a senior board official said. BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla said on Friday that jersey number 7 was an identity of the 2011 World Cup winning captain and the step was taken to prevent the brand from getting diluted. "This decision by the BCCI is keeping in mind the contribution of MS Dhoni in national as well as international cricket and is an honour for him. Jersey number 7 was an identity for MS Dhoni, and to prevent that brand from being diluted, this step taken by BCCI is worth appreciating," Shukla said.(COPIED ONLINE)

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