Former Indian selector Sarandeep Singh has revealed that the MSK Prasad-led national selection committee was of the view that former Indian stumper MS Dhoni should have played in the ICC T20 World in Australia had Covid-19 not enforced its postponement.
The 7th edition of the ICC T20 World Cup was originally scheduled to take place in Australia in October 2020 but the tournament was eventually deferred till 2021 due to the proliferation of the global contagion.
Before the tournament got postponed there were a lot of speculations regarding MS Dhoni’s participation in the marquee event. MS Dhoni had last featured in national colors in the semi-final of the 50-over World Cup in July 2019.
Post India’s heartbreaking exit from the quadrennial event, Dhoni took an extended sabbatical from the game but with an ICC event just over a year away, it was speculated that the 2011 World Cup-winning captain will hang his boots after the T20 World Cup in Australia.
However, Covid-19 led to the postponement of the quadrennial event. And, MS Dhoni proceeded to shock one and all when he announced his retirement from International cricket via an Instagram post on Independence day (August 15).
Sarandeep Singh, who was a part of the MSK Prasad-led national selection committee, has now revealed that the selectors were always of the view that MS Dhoni should feature in the 2020 T20 World Cup given the fact that he still was at the peak of his fitness.
“Definitely, he would have played (had COVID-19 not interrupted). We were also thinking that he should have definitely played the World T20. He was fit. There was no reason for him to not play,’ Sarandeep Singh told Sportskeeda.
“We always see the fitness of the players first to see how long they can play. And Mahi was the fittest. He never took a break from practice. Even in optional practice, Mahi was there. And you see it never happened that he missed a game because of injury. That’s why he got so much respect from everyone,” he said.
“We always felt that a player who played so much for India and won so many trophies – there’s not a single trophy he hasn’t won – deserved that chance. It was my personal opinion and opinion of everyone in the selection committee that MS Dhoni should have played the World T20,” Sarandeep Singh concluded.