Retirement from international cricket done, Australian spin legend Shane Warne now wants Mahendra Singh Dhoni to get on with the game and consider being part of his team London Spirit in next year’s The Hundred tournament.
Two-time World Cup-winning former India captain Dhoni retired on Saturday, putting endless speculation about his future to rest. Warne said he should give serious consideration The Hundred now.
“I just wonder if I could get him down to the London Spirit next year for The Hundred. I might put out a call to see if he wants to play at Lord’s. I’ll find the money, MS!,” Warne told Skysports.
‘The Hundred’ is a 100-balls-per-side tournament of the England and Wales Cricket Board which was scheduled to be launched in June this year but had to be postponed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paying glowing tribute to Dhoni, Warne said: “A terrific cricketer. You think back to some of the games that he won for India, off his own back.
“And you think of his captaincy, his leadership, he was a terrific competitor and a wonderful player. He will go down in history as one of the all-time great wicketkeeper-batsmen. He had a calmness about him that was fantastic and he always got the best out of his team, whether it was India, Chennai Super Kings, whoever it was.”
Dhoni is the only captain in the history of the game to win all ICC trophies. Under him, India won the 2007 World Twenty20, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Former England captain Naseer Hussain and Michael Atherton also paid tribute to Dhoni, describing him the “best white-ball captain” and a “great finisher”
“And also a cool, calm customer under pressure; a great finisher of a game, the game wasn’t won until you got Dhoni out,” Hussain said.
“I would remember the hitting of that six at the Wankhede Stadium to win that World Cup in 2011. What a fabulous player he was,” added Atherton.
Dhoni, who last played for India during the 2019 World Cup, has scored more than 17,000 international runs in 538 appearances. The 39-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman also won three IPL trophies with the Chennai Super Kings.
Former Pakistan captain and pace legend Wasim Akram lauded his widely-appreciated cool temperament. “I saw him when he started his cricketing career, his first tour to Pakistan (in 2006), he became a mega hit because of his long hair, his batting – he got runs on that tour (a maiden Test hundred),” he said.
“As a skipper, I always thought he was very calm, no matter the situation. And when you’re calm as a captain, you make right decisions. If you panic, the whole team panics and Dhoni wasn’t one of them.”
“He was a treat to watch, as long as he was not playing against Pakistan,” Akram quipped.
The Indian women’s team’s ODI captain Mithali Raj also congratulated him on his illustrious career.
“The man who immortalised jersey no.7, whose sharp mind and a cool head earned him the tag of #CaptionCool , the man who fulfilled billion indian dreams by two World Cup trophies and who bid adieu in his inimitable style. Congratulations #MSDhoni on an outstanding career,” she tweeted.