Mahendra Singh Dhoni might have retired from international cricket but he will be very much in the scheme of things as Team India looks to win their second ICC T20 World Cup later this year, as the BCCI announced on Wednesday that the former India captain will mentor the team for the tournament, which will be played in UAE and Oman in October and November.
“Former India Captain @msdhoni to mentor the team for the T20 World Cup,” BCCI quoted its honorary secretary Jay Shah on Twitter.
The tweet appeared just moments after India’s squad for the ICC T20 World Cup was announced on BCCI’s Twitter handle.
MS Dhoni, who had brought about a revolution in Indian cricket, as he led a young team to the title in the maiden ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, announced his retirement from international limited-overs cricket on August 15, 2020. He had last played for India in the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
All eyes had been on Dhoni as he was on a self-imposed exile from international cricket after the showpiece event in 2019, but there was speculation about him returning for India for the T20 World Cup in 2020. But as the tournament, to be played in Australia, was rescheduled for 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dhoni decided to bring the curtains down on his highly decorated career.
He has since played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Chennai Super Kings.
India squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (Vice Captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (Wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Dhoni had a stellar career in which he became the only international captain to have won all three major ICC tournaments – the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup, the 2011 ICC World Cup and also the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
He also guided the team to the final of the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup and the 2015 ICC World Cup and 2016 ICC T20 World Cup semi-finals respectively.
Speaking in the press conference to announce the squad, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said Dhoni’s role as a mentor will be limited to the T20 World Cup.
“(I) spoke to him in Dubai. He agreed to be mentor for WT20 only and I discussed with my colleagues and all are on same page. I spoke to captain (Virat Kohli) and vice captain (Rohit Shamra) and everyone agreed,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.