MS Dhoni retirement: Former India fielding coach R Sridhar, who was Indian cricket team’s fielding coach from 2014 to 2021, reportedly revealed in his book that two-time World Cup winning skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had decided to hang his boots during the ODI World Cup 2019. The legendary wicket-keeper batter eventually retired from international cricket in 2020.
One of the most iconic players to ever set foot inside a cricketing field, India’s most successful white ball captain MS Dhoni brought an end to an impressive 16-year-long career at 7:29 PM on August 15.
Revealing an untold story, Sridhar, in his book, ‘Coaching Beyond- My days with the Indian cricket team’, revealed a conversation MS Dhoni had with young keeper Rishabh Pant that made him realise that the former India skipper had decided to retire from international cricket.
Ahead of the semi-final match between India and New Zealand in the ODI World Cup 2019, Dhoni told Pant that he “doesn’t want to miss his last bus”.
“I can now reveal that at the time of the interview with the BCCI, which I attended from Antigua, I was reasonably certain that for all practical purposes, MS had played his last match for the country. He hadn’t announced it, of course, but I will tell you why I knew. On the morning of the reserve day in our World Cup semifinal against New Zealand in Manchester, I was the first person at the breakfast hall. I was nursing my coffee when MS and Rishabh walked in, picked up their stuff and joined me at my table.”
“New Zealand had only a couple of overs to bat out and we’d start our innings thereafter, so the match would end reasonably early. Rishabh told MS in Hindi, ‘Bhaiyya, some of the guys are planning to leave for London today itself privately. Would you be interested?’ MS replied, ‘No, Rishabh, I don’t want to miss my last bus drive with the team,” Sridhar revealed in the book, as quoted by Indian Express.
New Zealand defeated India in the semi-finals, knocking the Blues out of the tournament, The match indeed turned out to be Dhoni’s last international match.