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Sunil Gavaskar questions MS Dhoni’s lengthy sabbatical from international cricket

Sunil Gavaskar is not at all impressed with MS Dhoni's decision to remain away from international cricket for so long without retiring from the game.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has questioned MS Dhoni’s sabbatical from the game. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman’s career is in jeopardy, to say the least, as very few are aware of what the future holds for him in international cricket. MS Dhoni has not played a single competitive game since the World Cup in July.

At 38, he is not getting any younger and thus, this long absence has raised a number of eyebrows. To make matters worse, neither the board nor Dhoni himself have given any clear cut answer about the former India captain’s future. As far as selectors are concerned, chief selector MSK Prasad had earlier said that the selection panel is moving on from Dhoni and would give chance to youngsters.

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Consequently, the selectors have backed young Rishabh Pant in the ODI and T20I teams and have not given any hint of Dhoni’s comeback to the team. Recently, India head coach Ravi Shastri said that Dhoni is likely to retire from ODIs soon but could make a return to the T20I team if he does well in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sunil Gavaskar unimpressed by MS Dhoni

Sunil Gavaskar is not at all impressed with MS Dhoni’s decision to remain away from international cricket for so long without retiring from the game. In fact, the legendary batsman expressed his surprise over the duration for which Dhoni has remained away from the team.

“Fitness is something that I can’t tell you anything at all. The question that needs to be asked is of MSD himself. He has not made himself available to play for India since 10 July (9th actually). That is an important question. Does anybody keep himself away from playing for India for that long? That is the question and therein lies the answer,” said the former India captain after delivering the 26th Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial lecture.

Gavaskar also compared the Ranji Trophy and the IPL and said that India’s first-class tournament will remain a “poor cousin” of the cash-rich T20 league until the player’s match fee in red-ball tournament is increased.

“IPL dominates Ranji Trophy. Unless their match fees are increased substantially, it will be considered an orphan and poor cousin of Indian cricket,” Gavaskar said.

“I think 26 percent of the BCCI revenue goes to the players, out of which 13 percent goes to the international players, 10 percent goes to domestic cricket, 1.5 to junior, 1.5 to women’s cricket. That has not really been increased over the past few years barring the Test cricketers,” he added.

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