With speculation surrounding his retirement, India wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni on Saturday reportedly made himself ‘unavailable’ for India’s upcoming tour of West Indies.
According to a report on PTI, the former India captain, who is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army, has decided to spend the next two months with his regiment. The report further said that he has intimated his decision to the BCCI prior to the selection committee meeting on Sunday.
PTI quoted a BCCI official as saying, “Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the tour of West Indies as he will be spending two months with his paramilitary regiment.”
The official, however, further claimed that Dhoni, 38, is nowhere close to retiring at the moment. “We would like to say three things. He 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,” he said.
“We have now intimated his decision to skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad,” he added. “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.”
Rishabh Pant is expected to be first wicketkeeper choice for team India in Dhoni’s absence in all the three formats. India will play three T20 Internationals, as many ODIs and two Tests in the tour starting August 3.