Mahendra Singh Dhoni has stepped down as India’s limited over skipper. (Photo: Reuters)
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Prasad Quashes Reports That MS Dhoni Was Forced to Quit Captaincy

MS Dhoni’s decision to step down as India’s captain came as a surprise to all involved. His announcement also sparked intense speculation, with some wondering if he had been forced to step down.

Sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India said that national selectors has asked Dhoni to step down as limited overs captain as his ‘time was up’, Hindustan Times reported.

The report claimed that National Selection Committee chairman MSK Prasad had a chat with Dhoni about the same during the Ranji Trophy semifinal between Jharkhand and Gujarat.

Prasad, however, has denied the reports. He told News 18 that it was a “personal decision” on Dhoni’s part.

There was no pressure on Dhoni to resign from captaincy. It was his personal decision. He informed me during the Ranji Trophy semi-final between Jharkhand and Gujarat in Nagpur.
MSK Prasad, National Selection Panel Chief

On 4 January, MS Dhoni announced that while he would be stepping down as India’s T20 and ODI captain, he would still be up for selection in the upcoming England series.

Even then, Prasad had been extremely pleased with Dhoni’s “sense of perfect timing” and “correct decision”.

Had Mahi taken the decision one year or even six months earlier, I would have been 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.
MSK Prasad

“What else was left for him to achieve as a captain? He has achieved everything under the sun in his tenure as India captain. He has won World T20, 50-over World Cup, Champions Trophy - all three global trophies. Apart from that he has won IPL, Champions League T20. He has nothing to prove to anybody. He has been a great leader,” said Prasad.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times, News 18 and PTI)