BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said the matter of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future in international cricket will be addressed but vowed to accord the two-time World Cup winning captain respect during his tenure. Ganguly said he doesn’t now what is in Dhoni’s mind but promised that a player of his stature will be given respect.
“It depends on him. Even when I was left out and when the entire world said he will never make it, I believed in myself and came back and played for four years,” Ganguly said at his first media conference after taking over as the board president.
“You know champions don’t finish quickly. I don’t know what’s in his mind and what he thinks about his career. So we will deal with that you know,” he added.
Dhoni has been on a sabbatical from international cricket since India’s semi-final exit in the ODI World Cup, leading to speculations about his future.
“He is one of the greats of the game and India is proud to have MS Dhoni over a period of time. If you even sit down and take a note of what he has done, you say, ‘Wow, MS Dhoni’,” Ganguly said.
“It depends on him. I have always said when I was left out and the entire world said ‘I will never make it’. I came back and played for four years.” Since the Indian team’s World Cup exit, Dhoni, an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, joined his unit in the south Kashmir region to carry out patrolling, guard duties and similar responsibilities just like other soldiers.
He played golf in the United States and then showed up in the Indian dressing room at the end of their Test series triumph against South Africa in his home town Ranchi on Tuesday.
Legends of the game have often had unceremonious exits and Ganguly knows it more than anyone else how it feels to fight speculations and criticism.
“Till I am around, everybody will be respected and that doesn’t change,” Ganguly said.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament starts on November 9 and it is still not clear if Dhoni will be playing that tournament in case he wants to make himself available for selection for the West Indies tour at the end of the year.