Dhoni banters retirement question away
Indian captain chooses humour to address queries on his possibly quitting international cricket; hints at being around till 2019 World Cup
01 April 2016 15:21
Dhoni had reacted testily when asked about his one-day future after India lost to Australia in the semifinal of the 50-over World Cup a little over a year back at the SCG. On Thursday (March 31), moments after India crashed out of the ICC World Twenty20 2016 following a seven-wicket loss at the hands of the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium, pretty much the same question was thrown at him – are you keen to continue playing on?
It was as if Dhoni was waiting for it. He took an elaborate route to explain that his target was the ICC World Cup 2019 in England as he engaged in great byplay with the questioner.
No sooner had the question been fired than Dhoni triggered a conversation with the journalist.
“Come here, let’s have some fun. I am serious, come here,” he said, beckoning the journalist to join him on the dais.
“You want me to retire?”
“Not that I want. That’s what I want to ask you.”
“I was hoping it was an Indian media guy because I can’t really ask you if you have a son or a brother who is a wicketkeeper. Do you think I am unfit, looking at my running?”
“No. You’re very fast.”
“Do you think I can survive till the 2019 World Cup?”
“You should, yes, sure.”
“Then you have answered the question.”
As the journalist left the dais to return to his seat, Dhoni continued, “I wish it was an Indian mediaperson. Then I would have asked if he has a son who is a wicketkeeper and ready to play. He would have said no, then I would have said maybe a brother who is a wicketkeeper and who is ready to play. You fired the wrong ammunition at the wrong time.”
So, there you have it – Dhoni hopes to be around till the ICC World Cup 2019, so no further retirement questions until then. Oh, and just to go back to that reply at the SCG. “I thought that question would be answered later, but it's the first one,” he had said. “It's up to you guys. The media should do a nice research on it, take a few days, and my advice will be whatever you decide, write the complete opposite. Yeah, that will be the fact. It's up to you guys.”
Perhaps, the fact that he is 34 and has quit Test cricket is the reason he keeps getting asked about his future in the limited-overs game. There is little to suggest, both from his keeping and his extraordinary running between the wickets throughout this competition, that India’s 50-over and Twenty20 skipper is anywhere near retirement-ready. Then again, this is Mahendra Singh Dhoni, so anything is possible, isn’t it?