Before Sourav Ganguly became President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) he told the media that the BCCI must speak to MS Dhoni and get a clear picture of his retirement plans. The BCCI did not do that. And when Ganguly became the new President, Indian cricket fans expected him to provide more clarity.
Ganguly Takes Decision On MS Dhoni’s Future
That clarity did not happen either and Dhoni continues to be aloof, avoiding questions about his retirement. The former Indian captain has made himself unavailable for selection since India’s exit at the 2019 ICC World Cup. Many expected him to return for the T20 series against Sri Lanka but Dhoni kept silent.
With Dhoni not discussing his future, Ganguly has stepped in and sent a very strong message. The BCCI released its list of central contracts for 2019-2020 and for the first time in over a decade Dhoni’s name was not on the list.
The media is pushing a narrative that the BCCI has dropped Dhoni from the central contract list. At the end of the day this is mostly a decision made and backed by Ganguly. It looks like Ganguly has had enough of the mystery surrounding MS Dhoni’s future. Which is why he made the decision on his behalf and all but called it a day for MS.
Ganguly was known for being a no-nonsense cricketer during his playing days. He has used that same straightforward approach to make a decision on MS Dhoni’s cricketing future.
Dhoni Can Still Play For India
He may have been dropped from the central contract list but that does not mean Dhoni cannot play for India again. It just means that he will not be getting a lucrative contract as he has done in the past. Not that MSD needs the money. He is in the top three list of being the mostly highly paid sports stars in India.
Head coach Ravi Shastri has made it clear that India is still keen on having MS Dhoni for the T20 World Cup. Shastri said the benchmark for Dhoni to get a ticket to Australia will be his performance in the IPL. However, with Dhoni being out of the game for so long, he will have to compete with Rishabh Pant and maybe Sanju Samson for a place.
Ganguly has not pushed this narrative which could mean that he does not see Dhoni playing. India is in the process of settling on its XI for the World Cup. If the selectors decide on Pant, not only is Dhoni no longer a contractual player, but he is also no longer an automatic selection.
MSD Continues His Silence
MSD continues to remain silent over his cricketing future and has done his best to avoid the media. He is currently holidaying with his family and enjoying the snow in a remote location. He has not released a statement regarding him being eliminated from the BCCI central contractual list.
Given his high profile and fan following, it is strange that he continues to avoid addressing his T20 and ODI future!