MS Dhoni has told his friends and family that his desire to play international cricket is all but over but he will continue playing for Chennai Super Kings and the IPL for at least one season or possibly two. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
MS Dhoni's international career and whether he will feature again in the Indian cricket team has been constantly speculated ever since the end of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. After being run-out in the semi-final against New Zealand which resulted in India's elimination from the tournament, MS Dhoni made himself unavailable for the tour of the West Indies. During that period, he had a brief stint with the territorial army in Kashmir. After the end of his stint, MS Dhoni made himself unavailable for selection against South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh and against New Zealand. MS Dhoni was preparing for IPL 2020 but the coronavirus has cast a shadow on whether the tournament will be held at all. Now, there are reports that MS Dhoni is all but done playing international cricket.
According to a report in Sportskeeda, Dhoni has told his friends and family that his desire to play international cricket is all but over but he will continue playing for Chennai Super Kings and the IPL for at least one season or possibly two. At 38, Dhoni doesn't see the logic in playing for the country when there are other contenders like Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, who are more suitable for his spot on the national team. Dhoni has not yet communicated his action plan to the BCCI but according to one unnamed source, he has made his mind up.
"He is yet to have a word with the BCCI officials, but he has revealed his mind to his close friends. When time comes, he will reveal it all," the source said. His return to international cricket, also, will not be based on the form in the Indian Premier League when it happens. If it was not for the IPL, the source said Dhoni would have retired long ago.
Although the coronavirus has stalled cricketing activities all over the globe, there is still some time for the ICC World T20 that will be played in Australia during the October-November period. With the IPL potentially cancelled, there are very less chances for Dhoni to stake a claim for a spot in the Indian cricket team. However, his childhood coach Keshav Ranjan Banerjee is optimistic that Dhoni can feature in the ICC World T20 which could be his last tournament.
MS Dhoni has not played any cricket ever since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. (Image credit: Getty Images)
"In the current scenario, IPL looks unlikely and we will have to wait for BCCI’s call. His (Dhoni’s) position will become tough obviously. But my sixth sense says he will get a chance in the T20 World Cup, which will be his last. I spoke to him last after he returned from Chennai and I'm in constant touch with his parents. He’s doing his fitness training and is fully fit. Now let’s wait for the BCCI’s decision. There's no tournament. ICC tournaments are off till June. So we will have to wait and see," Banerjee said.
According to Banerjee, Dhoni does not need much time to adjust having not played any cricket since July 2019 and he has maintained his fitness well. "True that he has not played a tournament but for someone with 538 International matches, I don't think it would take much time to adjust. I think he will get a last chance. He is fully fit and trained in Chennai for a week or so. Now everything is closed in Ranchi, earlier he would train at the JSCA. But now he's confined at home and making use of the facilities at home. He has a gym, a badminton court, and a running corridor. I'm sure BCCI (presient, selectors, captain) are aware of the scenario. They will make the announcement when it’s the right time," Banerjee said.