Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be retained by the Chennai Super Kings for the 2021 Indian Premier League.
Dhoni did not receive a central contract from the Board of Control for Cricket in India recently. He was not picked for India's recent ODI series against Australia – and won't play in the upcoming five T20Is against New Zealand.
The former India captain, though, will play for Chennai in the 2020 IPL. According to franchise owner Narayanaswami Srinivasan, he'll remain with the Super Kings for next year's addition as well. The Super Kings have won the IPL three times.
“People keep saying when will he… how long will he play, etc. He will play. I can assure you. He will play this year. Next year he will go the auction. He will be retained. So there is no doubt in anybody's mind,” said Srinivasan.
What's Dhoni doing at the moment?
The right-handed Dhoni has not played competitive cricket since the 2019 World Cup in the United Kingdom. He recently resumed training with Jharkhand in domestic cricket.
“I will be honest, I thought there will be a bit of rustiness as Dhoni has not trained for quite some time. The last time we had spoken, he had said that he would start in January and here you go. He is a man of his words and it came as no surprise that he was out there training with the guys just like any other regular Jharkhand player,” said Jharkand coach Rajiv Kumar.
“I haven't had any talks with him with regards to the national team and him donning the India jersey again. But, his preparations for the next edition of the IPL has started.”
The 38-year-old Dhoni is still in contention for a berth in India's squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. India won the inaugural World Twenty20 (since renamed the T20 World Cup) in South Africa in 2007. They beat Pakistan in that final. They have been grouped with England, South Africa, Afghanistan and two qualifying teams for the 2020 T20 World Cup.
“If Dhoni decides to play, which he will because he will play the IPL, then he will start with a very fresh mind and very clear ideas,” India head coach Shastri told India Today.
“Then you've got to see form. If he has a great IPL and puts himself into contention that ‘I'm available for selection', then you don't fool around.”