Former India captain MS Dhoni’s career came to an abrupt end in 2020 as he hung his boots in August last year. While the semi-final of the 50-over World Cup in July 2019 became his final game in Indian colors, many speculated that the T20 World Cup would be Dhoni’s final outing. But the former captain shocked one and all with his decision to retire as his glorious career met an unceremonious end.
Former Indian selector Sarandeep Singh revealed that the selectors wanted Dhoni to feature in the 2020 T20 World Cup. Singh shares that the MSK Prasad-led committee felt so as the veteran wicketkeeper was the fittest of the lot. But things didn’t go as planned as the tournament was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Definitely, he would have played (had COVID-19 not interrupted). We were also thinking that he should have definitely played the World T20. He was fit. There was no reason for him to not play,’ Sarandeep Singh told Sportskeeda.
“We always see the fitness of the players first to see how long they can play. And Mahi was the fittest. He never took a break from practice. Even in optional practice, Mahi was there. And you see it never happened that he missed a game because of injury. That’s why he got so much respect from everyone,” he said.
“MS Dhoni deserved that chance,” asserts Sarandeep Singh
Post India’s heartbreaking exit from the World Cup, Dhoni took an extended sabbatical from the game. While many pundits expected his return for World T20, Dhoni’s poor form then was a big obstacle coupled with the fact that he was out of action for over a year. Singh shares that a player of his stature deserves a good send-off. And hence the selection committee wanted to give Dhoni a final chance to shine before hanging his boots.
“We always felt that a player who played so much for India and won so many trophies – there’s not a single trophy he hasn’t won – deserved that chance. It was my personal opinion and opinion of everyone in the selection committee that MS Dhoni should have played the World T20,” Sarandeep Singh concluded.
The postponed tournament will now take place in 2021 in India. The preparations for the same have begun now as teams are looking to lock in their best side for the gala event. Meanwhile, Dhoni continues to feature in the yellow jersey in the Indian Premier League. He had earlier shared that he has no intention of hanging his boots in the cash-rich league.