Former captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was excluded on Thursday from the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) list of centrally-contracted players, triggering fresh doubts on his future
Dhoni, who who has not played since the World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand last year, does not figure in any of the four categories of players announced by the BCCI in a statement for the central contracts for October 2019 to September 2020. Dhoni was in the A category, which fetches a player Rs 5 crore, until last year.
Incumbent Test team skipper Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma and top paceman Jasprit Bumrah were retained in the highest A+ bracket of Rs 7 crore. Among others, batsman K L Rahul has been promoted from B grade to A.
Dhoni’s contract not being renewed does not come as a surprise because he has not played a competitive game for India since that World Cup semifinal on July 9 in England. He has been on a sabbatical and has refused to divulge his future plans.
India’s head coach Ravi Shastri had recently said that Dhoni may soon end his ODI career but could be in contention for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad provided he does well in the IPL.
The veteran wicketkeeper has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20 Internationals for India, aggregating over 17,000 runs and effecting a staggering 829 dismissals behind the stumps.