Amid speculation over his International retirement after India’s semi-final exit from the recent World Cup, MS Dhoni has told the BCCI that he will take a two-month sabbatical from the game to serve his paramilitary regiment.
Though there were speculation that Dhoni may have retired as he had made himself unavailable for the upcoming tours, it has come out now that he is taking leave so that he can serve his paramilitary regiment in Army where he is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel.
“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 was quoted by PTI.
The 38-year-old Dhoni’s refusal to take retirement now leaves the ball in the court of the selectors, who were expected to drop him from the squad for the West Indies.
“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,” a senior BCCI official said.
With Dhoni pulling out of the tour, Rishabh Pant is expected to be first wicketkeeper in all three formats while Wriddhiman Saha will be Pant’s understudy in the Tests.
From now, the focus will be more on T20 cricket keeping the World T20 in mind, which is scheduled to be held in Australia next year.