Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings expect former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to keep playing past his 40th birthday, the team’s chief executive said.
Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Vishwanathan said that Dhoni, who has not played any competitive cricket since last year’s World Cup semi-final, will be part of the franchise for the next two editions of IPL.
The 39-year-old has not played a competitive game since India’s World Cup semi-final defeat last year, but is due to return to action when the delayed IPL begins in the United Arab Emirates next month.
“We can expect MS Dhoni to be part of both [IPL 2020 and 2021] and probably for even the next year - 2022,” Viswanathan was quoted as saying by indiatoday.in.
“I am getting updates through the media only, saying he has been training in Jharkhand in indoor nets. But we don’t have to worry about the skipper, boss. We don’t worry about him at all.
“He knows his responsibilities and he will take care of himself and the team.”
N Srinivasan, the vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements, owners of the CSK franchise, in January said that Dhoni would be retained by the team for the 2021 IPL mega-auction. Speculations were rife about Dhoni’s future since the 2019 World Cup as he failed to get a central contract from the BCCI.
While Dhoni kept quiet throughout, in March, the wicket-keeper batsman resumed training at Chepauk before the IPL was postponed due to the pandemic. Prior to that, Dhoni was seen practising at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association’s indoor facility in his hometown Ranchi.
CSK have planned a short training camp at their base from August 16 to 20. While CSK are hoping to leave for the UAE on August 21, Vishwanathan confirmed that all the players will assemble in Chennai on August 14.
“It will be a skill-based plus training camp. It can’t immediately start off with skills because they are coming back after a long off,” he said.
With Agency Inputs