India’s limited-overs opener batsman KL Rahul alleged that the retirement of MS Dhoni came as a shock to all the fellow players. The Indian players were already planning on giving the former captain a big send-off. Dhoni had declared his retirement from international cricket on August 15, calling time on his 16-year-long career.
“It was quite shocking. I was honestly heartbroken. I’m sure all of us in the team or whoever has played under him and with him would have wanted to give him a big send-off and wanted him to play one more time so we could have had that opportunity to do something special for him. It is what it is,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Rahul as saying.
“He has been someone who has guided us all really, really well. And who has never expected us to change who we are? He has let us go out there and express ourselves and make our mistakes and learn from them. He has just let us be. If we were ever in doubt, or if we wanted to look to somebody for answers, he was always there. He knew when to push the players,” he added.
The wicket-keeper batsman also said that he was speechless when he initially overheard about the retirement of Dhoni.
Rahul who has been considered by the think tank as the number one choice to take over wicket-keeping duties from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in white-ball cricket said that the former Indian skipper was a tremendous inspiration and mentor to all youngsters in the team.
“Words fall short, man. Even the other day when I was trying to write on Dhoni retiring on Instagram or Twitter, I mean, what do you say about somebody like that? You don’t have enough to say about how much he has done and how many lives he has changed and for how many people he is an inspiration – not just on the field but off the field as well with the things he has achieved. It is phenomenal,” Rahul said.
On Independence Day that is 15th August, the former skipper took Instagram to announce his retirement. The wicket-keeper-batsman Dhoni shared a video and captioned the post, “Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired.”
The video had the iconic song ‘‘Mai Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hu” from Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘‘Kabhie Kabhie” playing in the background and in it, Dhoni shared his incredible journey in the Indian side together with his run out in the last game against New Zealand in the World Cup 2019 semi-final.
Dhoni is amongst one the most successful skippers in world cricket. It was under his guidance that India lifted the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 after having led India to conquest in the ICC World T20 in its maiden edition of the tournament held in 2007 in South Africa.
With India winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 in England, Dhoni became the first and is still the only captain to date to have won all three ICC Trophies.
Dhoni was scheduled to reappear to the cricket ground on March 29 during the IPL 2020’s inaugural match between CSK and Mumbai Indians.
Though, the tournament will now be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. He will continue to lead CSK in the 13th edition of the IPL.