The late Vijay Merchant once said that the player should be vigilant about the decision to retire. He should retire at a time when people ask ‘why now’, not when people start asking ‘when’. At present, the question of ‘when’ stands in front of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose future dilemma has sparked the debate about when one of the biggest stars of Indian cricket will say goodbye to the game. The 38-year-old Dhoni has not played a match since the recently concluded ICC World Cup in England. He did not play in the limited-overs series with the West Indies Tour and South Africa. Now he will also be out of the Vijay Hazare Trophy and T20 domestic series against Bangladesh. That is, this year it seems certain that he will not be seen on the field.
Who is stopping
The world has considered Dhoni’s accurate decision. Dhoni, who retired from Test cricket overnight, was expecting the experts to announce it at the end of the Indian Cup in the World Cup. What is the last thing, what is stopping Dhoni from taking a decision? Is he wanting to play another World Cup or is the pressure of the market stopping him?
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played in Australia next year and Dhoni, who had the distinction of making India the first champion in this short form of cricket under his captaincy, might be aspiring to be part of another World Champion team. But the distance he has kept from the field at the moment does not make him think that he is considering the World Cup. If he wanted to prolong his career in competitive cricket, he would have looked busy, if not international, at least in domestic cricket.
Market value remains
Dhoni is not just a player. He is a brand in himself. Mahi had annual revenue of Rs 101.77 crore in the year 2018. Virat Kohli topped the list of the highest-grossing athletes in India by the prestigious magazine Forbes last year, while Dhoni was second above the great Sachin Tendulkar. He is associated with the endorsement of big products of big companies. Companies know that as long as Mahi is playing on the field, they can fully redeem their brand value. In such a situation, the companies with whom they have a long agreement will not want Mahi’s name to be tagged ‘retired’.
This is the opinion of colleagues
Different opinions are being seen among the cricketers on whether Dhoni should keep playing or retire. Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir said, “I think the decision to retire is very personal. As long as you want to play, you are allowed to play, but you also have to look towards the future. I don’t think Dhoni will play the next World Cup. In such a situation, any captain, whether Virat Kohli or anyone else, he should show the courage that this player is not fit in future plans.
Suresh Raina, who is out of the Indian cricket team, says, “Dhoni is fit now and he is a great wicketkeeper and a great finisher of this game. He can fit in for the Indian team in next year’s T20 World Cup. “Opener Shikhar Dhawan says,” Dhoni has been playing for a long time. I think he knows very well when to retire.
IPL will Play a Crucial Role
When will the return of former captain and veteran wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who won two World Cups to India, is the biggest question, but IPL 2020 can determine the future of Mahi? It depends to a large extent on how Dhoni performs in the IPL. During the World Cup-2019, Dhoni remained the target of critics due to his slow batting.