The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday (January 16) announced the central contract list for the 2020-21 season. While most of the names featuring in the list were on expected lines, there was one notable omission in the chart as well.
MS Dhoni, who hasn’t played international cricket ever since India’s ouster from World Cup 2019, was not named in any of the categories. And the veteran wicketkeeper’s absence from the annual contract list has once again sparked debate over his immediate cricket future.
Amid the speculations, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) owner N Srinivasan on Saturday (January 18) confirmed that Dhoni will be leading the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise this year and in the 2021 edition as well.
“Dhoni will play this year, next year he will go to the Auction and we will retain him,” Srinivasan said in an event.
By virtue of not having played any cricket for the country for over six months now, Dhoni could not have been considered for a central contract.
“Let me clarify that one of the top-most BCCI office-bearers spoke to MS and told him about how they are going about in the central contracts. He was clearly told that since he hasn’t played any game in the said period (September 2019 till date), he cannot be included for the time being,” a top BCCI official had told PTI on Thursday.
The official also added that if Dhoni makes it to the T20 World Cup squad in Australia (October 2020, after current contracts’ duration ends) or even before that, he can be included on a pro-rata basis.
“There will be an Asia Cup T20 (likely to be shifted from Pakistan) and if Dhoni plays a certain number of matches, he will be automatically included. It’s not like he has been dumped for good. It’s just that he doesn’t qualify because he has not played,” he remarked.
(With PTI Inputs)