Former Indian head coach and South Africa's veteran cricketer Gary Kirsten reckons that Indian wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni has earned the right to announce his international retirement when he decides and that no one should dictate when that time is.
“MS (Dhoni) is an incredible cricketer. Intelligence, calmness, power, athleticism, speed and a match-winner separate him from others and puts him amongst the greatest sportsmen in the modern era,” Kirsten told Times of India.
“He (Dhoni) has earned the right to leave the game on his own terms and no one should dictate to him when that time is," he added.
Dhoni, a veteran of 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is and captain of three ICC tournament winning team, last played for India in their World Cup 2019 semifinal against New Zealand last July. Since then, India have played several limited-overs series both at home and away, but Dhoni made himself available for none.
The 38-year-old had, however, begun preparation for the 13th season of the Indian Premier League as he had reached Chepauk to attend the Chennai Super Kings camp. He had even scored a century in one of their practice matches while his teammates had praised his batting form despite being away from the game for so long.
Earlier on Wednesday, #DhoniRetires began trending on Twitter with ardent fans expressing their love and support towards the cricketer. Infuriated over the rumour, wife Sakshi reacted sharply saying that the lockdown has made people "mentally unstable".
"Its only rumours ! I understand Lockdown has made people mentally unstable ! #DhoniRetires .. Get a life ! (sic)," Sakshi wrote on Twitter but deleted it later.
Meanwhile, Dhoni's CSK teammate Harbhajan Singh opined that the former captain doesn't wish to play for India anymore.
"He wants to play IPL 100 percent. But one needs to know his take on whether he wants to play for India anymore or not. I think he doesn't want to play for India again. He has played so much for India," he said during an Instagram chat with Rohit Sharma.
"As far as I know him, he doesn't want to wear the blue jersey again. He decided that India's last match in the World Cup was his last. A few people have also told me that this is the case," he added.