The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is willing to host a farewell match for former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, according to a senior board official.
MS Dhoni, who lately declared his retirement from international cricket, on Saturday, bring an end to one of the most eminent careers the game had seen.
Speaking to news agency IANS, a senior BCCI official said the board will speak to Dhoni, during the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, and plan accordingly.
“There is no international series right now, maybe after IPL, we will see what can be done because Dhoni has done a lot for the nation and he deserves all the respect. We always wanted to have a farewell match for him but Dhoni is a different player. He announced his retirement when nobody was thinking of it,” the official said.
When asked if they had any word with Dhoni as of yet, the official responded, “No, but surely we will speak to him during the IPL and that would be the right place to get his opinion about a match or series. Well, there will be a proper felicitation ceremony for him no matter if he agrees on it or not. That will be our honour to felicitate him.”
Former Indian cricketer Madan Lal, also, approved on holding a proper farewell match for the former Indian captain.
“I would be really happy if the BCCI hosts a match for Dhoni. He is a legendary player and you can’t let him go just like that. His fans would want to see him again in action,” Lal told news agency IANS.
“IPL is happening in the UAE and everybody will be glued to their screens to watch him play. But the board can host a series in India too so that people can see him live in the stadium (obviously after this pandemic gets over),” he added.
Prior to this, Hemant Soren, Chief Minister of Jharkhand had also wanted a farewell match for the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman. Soren had made a plea to the BCCI, saying that Jharkhand would be the host.
It was under Dhoni’s guidance that Team India lifted the titles of ICC WT20 (2007), ICC World Cup (2011) and ICC Champions Trophy (2013). He made an unpredicted declaration with a simple social media post on country’s 74th Independence Day.
The former Indian cricket captain was last seen performing in the 2019 World Cup defeat to New Zealand and he put an end to all the speculation over his international future on 15th August. Nevertheless, Dhoni, like quite a few Indian cricket greats, has bowed out without a farewell match at the international level.
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.