BCCI finally took the move that many had expected for a long time and excluded MS Dhoni from the list of its centrally contracted players, which was announced on January 16, 2020. Dhoni, who was previously placed in A grade, having retired from Tests in 2014, did not find a place in the upcoming season’s list.
The former India captain has not played any cricket since India was eliminated by New Zealand in the semi-final of the ICC World Cup in July of 2019. There has been no confirmation on his return and even Dhoni himself had asked not to be bothered about the same until January of 2020. Meanwhile, reports suggest that the Indian cricket board had already informed Dhoni that his name will not be included in the upcoming list of centrally contracted players.
MS Dhoni might be reincluded in the contracted list of players
The exclusion of him from the central contract’s list can come with many interpretations about the future of the 2-time World Cup-winning skipper. It remains to be seen whether Dhoni can make a return to the Men in Blue team for the upcoming Asia Cup and the following T20 World Cup, but a BCCI official mentioned that he was intimated by the BCCI that his name was being removed from the list.
“Let me clarify that one of the top-most BCCI office-bearers spoke to MS and told him about how they are going about in the central contracts. He was clearly told that since he hasn’t played any game in the said period (September 2019 till date), he cannot be included for the time being,” the official was quoted as saying by Outlook India, on condition of anonymity.
The official also opined on if and when Dhoni might be reincluded in the contracted list of players. “There will be an Asia Cup T20 (likely to be shifted from Pakistan) and if Dhoni plays a certain number of matches, he will be automatically included. It’s not like he has been dumped for good. It’s just that he doesn’t qualify because he has not played,” the official said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
The existing rule for awarding central contracts is that a player needs to compete in a minimum of three Tests or eight ODIs to qualify. He can also get in by playing a stipulated number of T20 games (depending on the season when there are more T20s). Dhoni has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20I for India in a career that started in 2004.
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