After Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s surprise announcement of stepping down as India’s captain in the limited overs format in Wednesday, there has been a wave of tributes and some speculations doing the rounds that BCCI was involved in him taking the decision to quit captaincy.
The BCCI made an announcement on Wednesday that MS Dhoni, the two time World cup winning captain had decided to step down as the captain of the one-day and Twenty20 sides but would continue playing.
However, according to a new report published in HT, Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not step down on his own. Selection committee chairman MSK Prasad had met the 35-year-old in Nagpur during last week’s Ranji Trophy semifinal between Jharkhand, Dhoni’s home state, and Gujarat.
Dhoni, who retired from the longer version of the game in 2015 handing over the reins to Virat Kohli, was reportedly told that in order to plan for the future of the limited overs side — with an eye on 2019 World Cup when he will be 39 — Kohli should be given the full mantle of leadership.
The reasons why Kohli should take over captaincy were discussed again with Dhoni during the last week’s Ranji Trophy game in Nagpur, where he was present as the mentor of Jharkhand, and soon after, he decided to step down, continues the report.
While Prasad said it was Dhoni, who was in Nagpur as a mentor for his state team, who approached him with the decision to relinquish ODI and T20 captaincy after leading the side for over nine years, the recent reports speculate otherwise.
Prasad, while lauding Dhoni, had said: “Had Mahi taken the decision one year or even six months earlier, I would have been a bit worried. But I salute him for his sense of perfect timing. He knew that Virat is now a proven customer who has done exceptionally well as a leader in Test.
“So it is a correct decision by Dhoni. It showed that he had the best interest of Indian cricket in his mind,” Prasad had told PTI.