In a massive setback for Indian cricket fans, MS Dhoni won’t be joining the Indian squad for the upcoming tour of West Indies. According to recent media reports, MS Dhoni has made himself ‘unavailable ‘for the tour as he plans to serve with his paramilitary regiment for the next couple of months.
“Dhoni met a top BCCI official in person and explained why he cannot go on the tour of West Indies. Dhoni is an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the parachute regiment of the territorial army. He had made a commitment to reserve the regiment for a couple of months even before the World Cup,” BCCI sources informed CricketNext.
However, the sources have also indicated that MS Dhoni has not taken retirement but has taken a sabbatical for the above-mentioned purposes. “This is just a two-month sabbatical and not a decision to retire in any way. He hasn’t made any decision regarding his future as yet. The decision has been communicated to the chairman of selectors as well,” the source added.
Since the World cup in England, there is a lot of debate and discussions going on about the current structure of the team. Speculations were ripe regarding the selection of MS Dhoni in the team, as observers had pointed out that the selection committee might have looked at other options considering the upcoming T 20 World cup in Australia. Clouds of doubts had also surrounded over Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
With MS Dhoni busy serving his paramilitary regiment, young Rishabh Pant might succeed in getting a spot in the Indian Squad. 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. The MSK Prasad-led BCCI selection panel will meet on Sunday to announce the team.
MS Dhoni’s longtime friend and business partner Arun Pandey have however indicated that he has no immediate plans to retire from limited-overs international cricket despite the intense speculation surrounding his future” He has no immediate plans to retire. The constant speculation over the future of a great player like him is unfortunate,” Pandey told PTI.
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.
After the debacle in the semi-final match in the World Cup, speculations over the future of Dhoni were rife. Questions over coaching staff have also been raised after the reports of inefficiencies in the coaching department. The current coaching team has also been given an extension for their contracts for the West Indies tour. However, it remains to be seen if CAC headed by Kapil Dev, which will be involved in the process and if they take the job, whether Ravi Shashtri will get an extension or will a new face take over the job nonetheless the chances for Ravi Shastri to Continue to remain meek.