MS Dhoni has informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he will be unavailable for two months and as a result, will be missing India’s tour of the West Indies next month as he is joining the para regiment for the next 2 months.
Dhoni, who holds an honorary post of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute regiment of the Territorial Army, had made this commitment even before the Cricket World Cup 2019. The MSK Prasad-led BCCI selection panel will meet on Sunday to announce the team.
“We would like to clarify three things. MS Dhoni is not retiring from cricket right now. He is taking a two month sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment which he had committed much earlier. We have now intimated his decision to skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on Saturday.
“The selection committee has always been clear on one issue. They have no right to tell anyone irrespective of their stature as to when they should call it quits but when it comes to team selection, it remains their domain.”
India’s tour of the West Indies will begin with a three-match T20I series starting August 3. The teams will then play three ODIs and two Test matches between August 8-30.
Dhoni meanwhile, has no immediate plans to retire from limited-overs international cricket despite the intense speculation surrounding his future, his longtime friend and business partner Arun Pandey said Friday.
“He has no immediate plans to retire. The constant speculation over the future of a great player like him is unfortunate,” Pandey told PTI.
MS Dhoni had a disappointing outing in the just-concluded Cricket World Cup 2019 in which he scored 273 runs in 9 match at an average of 45.50 including two fifties but it was once again his strike rate which became the talking point.
Dhoni was criticised by fans and cricket pundits for being being unable to accelerate the scoring rate in the death overs, especially in the matches against England and New Zealand, both of which India lost.
Dhoni’s last international innings of 50 ended in heartbreak for the entire nation as he was run out with a brilliant direct hit from the deep by New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, effectively ending India’s hopes in the knock-out game.
The 38-year-old former India captain has played 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20 Internationals so far. Dhoni has amassed 10,773 ODI runs at an average of over 50 while in Test cricket, he accumulated 4876 runs at 38.09.
As a result of Dhoni’s failures with the bat, young Rishabh Pant is being looked at his successor in the limited-overs formats. The 21-year-old represented India at World Cup 2019 after being called in as Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement.
Joining Parachute Regiment of Territorial Army for next 2 months: MS Dhoni tells BCCI – India Today