MUMBAI: Former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni has made himself “unavailable” for India’s upcoming tour of West Indies as he has decided to take a two-month sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment. After plenty of speculation regarding his retirement is being made following India’s semi-final loss in the ICC World Cup 2019, the BCCI has confirmed that the former skipper is NOT retiring right now. The decision was intimated to the BCCI a day before the meeting of the selection committee in Mumbai to pick squads for the upcoming away series.
“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 stated. “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,” he further added.
As Dhoni has opted out of the tour, Rishabh Pant will most likely be the first wicket-keeper in the three T20s, several ODIs, and two Tests, while Wriddhiman Saha is expected to be the reserve wicket-keeper in the Tests. With the T20 World Cup happening next year in Australia, the T20 cricket played in the series will be focused on more than the other two formats.