Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have not played a competitive game since India’s exit from the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup at the hands of New Zealand, but the champion wicket-keeper-batsman continues to rake up headlines. Dhoni was recently in the headlines after the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI] omitted the former World Cup-winning captain from the annual retainer list for the period September 2019-October 2020.
The exclusion of Dhoni from the annual-retainership raised a plethora of eyebrows among the fans. Some of them even began to write obituaries on Dhoni’s International career and #ThankYouDhoni began to trend like wildfire on Twitter. A lot of fans criticized BCCI’s decision of not giving the annual contract to MS Dhoni, who according to them was hard-done-by by the apex cricketing body. However, former Indian captain Virender Sehwag has backed BCCI’s decision to not award an annual contract to the Ranchi cricketer.
Speaking to CricBuzz, Sehwag touched upon the topic of Dhoni not getting the contract where he backed the apex-cricketing body’s decision. Sehwag, who said that the annual contracts are prepared by the selectors, cited the fact that MS Dhoni has not played a single International or First-Class fixture in the past six-seven months behind the BCCI’s decision.
‘The selectors may have moved on from MS Dhoni’: Virender Sehwag
Sehwag also feels that by not awarding the central contract, the selection committee may be an indication that they have moved on from MS Dhoni and are looking at trying out newer options for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Earlier, a source close to the BCCI had clarified that the decision to not award Dhoni with the annual-retainer was purely on technical grounds and that by no way means that it is the end of the road for the former World Cup-winning captain.
“Even Harbhajan Singh hasn’t played since 2015-16. He hasn’t announced his retirement either. Nobody wants to ask him why he hasn’t done it. Maybe Dhoni makes a bigger headline and people love headlines. Retirement, be it Dhoni or Harbhajan or any other cricketer, is a very personal decision. Selecting or dropping a player is the selection committee’s decision. Dhoni will not play in the ODIs again. So how can he be part of the central contracts?” the source had said.
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