Speculation on MS Dhoni’s retirement began to grow after media reports suggested that the former India captain and legendary wicketkeeper will quit after India’s last match in the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
However, India Today correspondents in England have confirmed this is only speculation and there is no official word on MS Dhoni’s retirement.
Dhoni had retired from Test cricket in 2014 and stepped down as India’s limited-overs captain in January 2017. He has since been an integral memeber of India’s shorter formats teams.
News agency PTI reported India’s last match in the World Cup could be MS Dhoni’s last for the country. However, there is no official confirmation.
“If India qualify for the finals and go on to win the World Cup on July 14 at the Lord’s, it would be ideal setting for a fitting farewell to one of the legends of Indian cricket,” a PTI report said on Wednesday.
“You never know with MS Dhoni. But it is unlikely that he will continue to play for India after this World Cup. But since his decisions to quit captaincy from the three formats have been taken so suddenly, it is very difficult to predict at the moment,” PTI quoted a senior BCCI official on condition of anonymity.
The PTI report also said there was no word on Dhoni’s retirement from either the team management or BCCI.
“However, with India qualifying for the semi-finals at the World Cup here, neither the team management nor the BCCI wants to talk about sensitive issue,” the PTI report stated.
In 8 matches so far in the World Cup, Dhoni has scored 223 runs in 7 innings at a strike rate of 93. However, he has taken flak for his inability to rotate strike and some said his innings have lacked intent.
Here is what the PTI story further said: “With the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly also being critical of his approach, the team management knows only too well that they can’t carry their “beloved captain” beyond the marquee tournament.
“His on-field contribution is still immense as every player who has appeared for media interactions has pointed out”.
“The team management had to take a call in 2017 after the Champions Trophy. They decided that they will invest another two years in Dhoni till the 2019 World Cup. India have reached the semi-finals despite his lukewarm performances so he has been carefully shielded,” PTI quoted a India player as saying. “No one can ask him to retire but obviously he has got the drift that post World Cup, things won’t be the same,” he said.