The fears eventually came to be true for Mahendra Dhoni fans. The legendary wicket-keeper-batsman has been ignored for the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) central contracts list after not playing for the national side since the semi-final against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup in England last July. He had quit Tests in December 2014 and stepped down as the captain in the limited-overs formats in January 2017.
Last year, the 38-year-old was part of Grade A in the board’s central contracts list but after he made himself unavailable after the World Cup, he was omitted from the 27-member list for the period between October 2019 and September 2020.
Dhoni has played in 90 Tests, 358 ODIs and 98 T20Is to score over 17,000 international runs. In wicket-keeping, Dhoni has effected 829 dismissals across all formats which is third-best after Mark Boucher’s 998 and Adam Gilchrist’s 905.
Fans are still hoping for MS Dhoni to don the Indian jersey in T20 World Cup 2020
Ace cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, however, was among the optimists. He conceded that it was a big news that the Ranchi cricketer was not included among the players having central contracts which suggests that his road has come to an end. But he also hoped to see the former World Cup-winning captain to have a blast in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 which could make the future interesting.
The biggest news in the awarding of central contracts is that there is none for MS Dhoni; which suggests, as some fear, that he may have come to the end. Would love him to have a big IPL with CSK though. And after that……who knows!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 16, 2020
The IPL remains Dhoni’s happy hunting grounds and after leading the Chennai Super Kings to two consecutive finals after their return from ban, he will be looking to continue with his good run. Dhoni has also done well with the bat in the IPL with over 4,400 runs in 190 matches at a strike rate of almost 138.
Dhoni’s fans still hope that he will be back into the national side for at least the T20 World Cup in Australia this year. Ever since India crashed out of the World Cup last year, Dhoni withdrew himself from national assignments and it is still not officially what he has thought about his future.
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