On 24th October 2019, the selection committee of BCCI, headed by MSK Prasad, announced the team for the forthcoming India – Bangladesh series. The most shocking fact about the team was not the inclusion of Sanju Samson as the back-up wicketkeeper or giving a chance to Mumbai lad Shivam Dube in the squad, but the exclusion of legendary MS Dhoni. India was eagerly awaiting the homecoming of its most loved cricketer back to the team, ever since the announcement of the Indian squad for the just-concluded India – South Africa tournament.
Ever since India’s exit from the ICC Cricket World Cup following defeat to New Zealand in the semis, MS Dhoni pulled his name out from the selection process because he wanted a break from the game and wanted to serve the Territorial Army in Kashmir. At that time, this sabbatical was not well accepted. Dhoni’s absence from the team was considered by many as the beginning of the end. The entire cricket fraternity started presenting ‘analytical and highly thought-provoking’ opinions on when should a legend, national hero, only captain to win all the ICC trophies, retire.
The chief selector MSK Prasad, while announcing Indian squad for the India – Bangladesh tournament in a press conference, said that the Indian team is ‘moving on’ from MSD and will focus on Rishabh Pant only as the wicket keeper of Team India. Mr. Prasad very clearly stated that for Dhoni, to go back to domestic cricket or retire is ‘purely his call’.
Sourav Ganguly, the recently appointed President of BCCI, clearly mentioned that it would be Dhoni’s personal decision only, which will be respected by everyone and suggested that he will have a meeting with Dhoni. Dada also said that he too was left out by the selectors, but he worked hard and played for four more years and retired like a boss. Even the skipper Kohli said that it would be MSD’s personal decision.
With over 10,000 runs in ODI cricket, ODI World Cup, T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy, 3 IPL trophies, and two champions league titles, MS Dhoni surely is a legend and one of the most excellent captains in the world. His fastest recorded stumping is 0.09 seconds, even quicker than the blink of an eye. There is no better asset than MSD for any team in the world. Well, the most appropriate farewell match for MSD should be in the T20 World Cup next year because Dhoni’s first claim to fame was the T20 World Cup in 2007.