Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, 2020, which shocked the entire cricketing world. Former India fielding coach R Sridhar revealed that Dhoni and Rishabh Pant had an interesting conversation during the reserve day of the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in 2019.
MS Dhoni is one of the best captains in the history of Indian cricket. The former India wicketkeeper-batsman is the only captain to win all ICC trophies, having guided Team India to victories in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, the ODI World Cup in 2011, and the Champions Trophy in 2013. India won the ICC Test Mace twice during his captaincy in the longer format.
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MS Had Played His Last Match For The Country – R Sridhar
In his book ‘Coaching Beyond- My days with the Indian cricket team’, Sridhar confirmed that Dhoni had hinted that he had played his last game for India in a conversation with Rishabh Pant.
“I can now reveal that at the time of the interview to the BCCI, which I attended from Antigua, I was reasonably certain that for all practical purposes, MS had played his last match for the country. He hadn’t announced it, of course, but I will tell you why I knew,” Sridhar wrote.
“On the morning of the reserve day in our World Cup semifinal against New Zealand in Manchester, I was the first person at the breakfast hall. I was nursing my coffee when MS and Rishabh walked in, picked up their stuff and joined me at my table.”
During the reserve day, when Pant asked about going to London for the World Cup final at Lord’s with some other Indian players, Dhoni said he didn’t want to miss his last team bus.
“New Zealand had only a couple of overs to bat out and we’d start our innings thereafter, so the match would end reasonably early. Rishabh told MS in Hindi, ‘Bhaiyya, some of the guys are planning to leave for London today itself privately. Would you be interested?’ MS replied, ‘No, Rishabh, I don’t want to miss my last bus drive with the team.'”
Sridhar added that he never revealed this conversation to anyone out of “sheer respect” for Dhoni. “I didn’t say a word to anyone about this conversation out of sheer respect for the man. He had taken me into confidence. I couldn’t shoot my mouth off. So, I didn’t utter a word not to Ravi, not to Arun, not even to my wife,” said Sridhar.