Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has been on a sabbatical ever since India's heartbreaking semi-final exit from the ICC World Cup 2019, was excluded from the BCCI central contracts for the upcoming season. The veteran wicket-keeper who was in Category A last season missed out on gaining a contract this due to his unavailability for playing any series between the WC semi-final and now. However, this does not mean the end of his cricketing career yet.
MS Dhoni, who has been speculated to be a contender for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia, can still make it to the squad despite missing out on the contract. If the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman makes it to the WC squad, he will be included on a pro-rata basis, a BCCI official told PTI on the condition of anonymity. Nevertheless, Dhoni will first have to play the upcoming T20 Asia Cup first and if he plays a certain number of matches he will be included in the squad, the BCCI official confirmed.
The senior BCCI official also revealed that the decision pertaining to the contract was conveyed to MS Dhoni by the top brass of BCCI. "Let me clarify that one of the top-most BCCI office-bearers spoke to MS and told him about how they are going about in the central contracts. He was clearly told that since he hasn't played any game in the said period (September 2019 till date), he cannot be included for the time being," the official told PTI.
Earlier, India's head coach, Ravi Shastri had confirmed that MS Dhoni will play the Indian Premier League (IPL) which in turn will also determine his selection for the World Cup scheduled in October. Shastri had also stated that he is sure that Dhoni has conveyed his decisions concerning his future to skipper Virat Kohli. "Don't ask me anything till January," the former skipper recently told the media persons when the questions about his retirement had propped up.
While BCCI dropped Dhoni from central contracts for the upcoming season, skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah were awarded A+ contracts. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul made it to the A list of central contracts. Meanwhile, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal and Yuzvendra Chahal were few amongst others to receive B central contracts.