Wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni, who has over 15,000 international runs to his name, in the last 15 years has established himself not only as one of the greatest cricketers of all-time but also as one of the best ODI skippers in the world.
However, there has been uncertainty over the national future of the former Indian captain for the past 10 months or so, with the 38-year-old having not played a professional game of cricket since the heartbreaking loss in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup against Kane Williamson-led team New Zealand.
This has led to increasing rumours and speculation on social media that Dhoni announcing his retirement is imminent, but the Ranchi-born cricketer has continued to remain silent over the issue.
While many believe that MSD’s retirement could create a void in the sport, former England spinner Monty Panesar took it up a notch with his statement. According to Panesar, the magnitude of Dhoni’s retirement from competitive cricket would be so huge that it would be the equivalent of football star, Cristiano Ronaldo, hanging his boots from the beautiful sport.
“If tomorrow, Cristiano Ronaldo retires, football would lose a lot of fan following. Likewise, if Dhoni retires, it will be of the same magnitude, that’s the kind of following he has,” Panesar said an exclusive chat with timesnownews.com.
Dhoni’s accolades as Indian captain include a T20 World Cup in 2007, an ODI World Cup in 2011 and a Champions Trophy in 2013 amongst others and Mahi, in terms of captaincy, has left a legacy worthy enough to be deemed ‘iconic’.
Panesar, who played his last international game against Australia during the 2023-14 Ashes series, labelled Dhoni as one of the top five captains of all-time and even attested that the wicket-keeper batsman is one of the greatest cricketers to have ever graced the sport.
“MS Dhoni is the most successful captain Indian captain, unbelievable white-ball cricketer, an excellent wicketkeeper and among top 5 captains. One of the best cricketers we have had.”
Well, Dhoni was a part of the Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) training camp ahead of IPL 2020 but returned back to Ranchi as training camps of all eight franchises were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Dhoni had also participated in practice matches, along with Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu, where fans turned up in big numbers to watch their Thalaiva entertain them briefly.
While there’s no clarity regarding Dhoni’s international future, he would go on to play the IPL for a few more years.
Former BCCI president N Srinivasan had earlier clarified that CSK would retain Dhoni in IPL 2021 auctions irrespective of whether he plays for India or not.
There’s a lot of uncertainty over the future of the IPL 2020 as the tournament has been postponed for an indefinite period by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).