Abhijit Chowdhury

Only a week back an inside story about MS Dhoni surfaced as Sanjay Manjrekar shared what Dhoni had told him few years back. It was during Virat Kohli’s wedding reception. Sanjay managed to have a chat with Dhoni. And obviously the topic of his retirement had popped up during the conversation. And Sanjay revealed that Dhoni told him,’As long as I’m beating the fastest sprinter in team, I consider myself fit enough for international cricket.’ So was Dhoni’s fitness failing him that compelled him to retire from international cricket even before the IPL started?

According to reports, MS Dhoni was seen practicing at the Chepauk stadium this evening hours before he made his announcement on international retirement. And as always Dhoni seemed to be having no worrying marks on his face. The ever jovial Captain cool will not dawn the Indian Blue any longer.

This sudden announcement of Dhoni’s retirement on Independence Day again raised a quaestion. Why now? There were already endless questions about his retirement. But now that he has retired, the questions won’t stop. The question now is, what triggered such a sudden announcement?

Despite having not played any form of cricket, Dhoni has reportedly hit the ground running ahead of the IPL 2020. According to sources, Dhoni had been practicing batting in the indoors training facility of the JSCA International Cricket Stadium. But one would have imagined that the aim for Dhoni was to be in the T20 World Cup squad. Dawning the yellow jersey for CSK would be stepping stone for Dhoni. But once again, baffling everyone with his decision, Dhoni decided to be free of the pressures that the billion Indians put on him.

Dhoni was out of all forms of cricket for more than 12 months now. And rationally speaking, his retirement should not come out as a shock. To be honest, it is the hollowness among the fans that is raising the question about his retirement now. The fact that, we won’t be able to see him in Indian jersey any more hit us hard, as most of the optimistic Dhoni fans must have wished Dhoni to have bang in the IPL and then retire after the T20 WC in style. But I think, the postponement of T20 World Cup might have influenced his retirement.

He might have been waiting to see how he performed in the IPL. I think he was also waiting to see if the T20 World Cup was going to be held in October-November amid the pandemic. And I believe, once he found out that the ICC T20 World Cup has been postponed, that’s when he realized there is no point hanging around, and that’s why he has decided to retire from international cricket and enjoy the IPL with no pressure on him.

I still think, if the T20 world Cup had taken place in October-November, he would have fancied his chances considering his performance in the IPL. He would have been positive about being picked again in the Indian team and then to go out on a high by playing for India at the T20 World Cup and win India the T20 World Cup as well.

However, the T20 World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in October-November, was postponed due to the pandemic. The ICC announced that T20 World Cup 2021 will be held in India in October-November. And for Dhoni to hang around till that tie would have been very difficult and it could have been an exit without an announcement.

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