No BCCI Contract for MS Dhoni: What Does This Mean For His Future?

Team India head coach Ravi Shastri had recently said former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni may stop playing ODIs.

2 min read
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been dropped from the BCCI’s annual cricket contracts list.
  • He used to be part of the Grade A category, earning Rs 5 crore a season.
  • Dhoni hasn’t played international cricket since India’s semi-final exit from the 2019 ICC World Cup in July.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) dropped Mahendra Singh Dhoni from their list of central contracts for the period of October 2019 to September 2020 on Thursday.

While this news has fans worried about the future of the former Indian captain, this would be a good time to clarify that this does not mean the end of the road for the 38-year-old.

Dhoni has not featured in a match for India since the semi-final loss against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup but while he has not announced his retirement, he has also not made himself available for selection in the Indian team.

Dhoni, in fact, has also not revealed plans regarding his future. Recently, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri had hinted that Dhoni might retire from the 50-over format of the game and keep playing just T20Is.

And while one might argue that it might have played a role in the omission, it doesn’t justify the case since there are players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Wridhhiman Saha who play just one format and have been handed central contracts.

Nonetheless, Dhoni’s fans do not have to lose sleep right away as the absence of a central contract does not mean one can’t represent India.

“He can still perform and get back into the national team if he wants and that includes playing for India in the T20 World Cup. The central contract honestly has no relation to Dhoni's India future,” IANS quoted a BCCI official as saying.

India Test opener Mayank Agarwal, who had a stellar run in the 2019 calendar year, did not have a central contract the last time the BCCI dished them out and yet went on to represent India in eight Tests. Agarwal lapped up the opportunity well, scoring a staggering 754 runs in those matches, including two double hundreds, as he ended as the highest run-getter for India in 2019.

In the absence of Dhoni, India have three centrally contracted wicket-keepers. Besides specialists Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul makes up the number.

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