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‘Be careful what you wish for’ – Nasser warns critics against pushing Dhoni into retirement

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Nasser Hussain has warned critics of MS Dhoni that they should “be careful” what they wish for in pushing him into retirement, saying the former Indian captain still had a lot to offer.

Dhoni’s future in the sport is in limbo. He hasn’t played since World Cup 2019, when his late dismissal in the semi-final against New Zealand titled India towards defeat, and there has been no real clarity from his part on what his plans are.

He was all set to guide Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020, and it was expected that he’d bank on the tournament to win his place back in the India side in time for the T20 World Cup later this year. However, the IPL was delayed due to Covid-19, and there continues to be no clarity on what Dhoni’s plans are, even as critics call for his retirement as he approaches his 39th birthday.

Hussain, however, believes the World Cup-winning captain still has plenty to offer India, calling him a once-in-a-generation player. “I still think MS Dhoni has a huge amount to offer Indian cricket,” Hussain told Star Sports Cricket Connected. “Yes, there have been one or two occasions where he’s got it wrong, but in general, MS Dhoni is still a really good talent.

“Be careful what you wish for. Once Dhoni is gone, there’s no getting him back. There are some legends of the game – appreciate them while they’re around, because they’re once-in-a-generation cricketers … don’t push him into retirement early. Only Dhoni knows his mental state. In the end, selectors select, and players turn up when they’re asked for.”

Hussain also said Dhoni deserved a send-off to thank him for his services to Indian cricket, saying the fans deserved that, although he did warn against a whole series being made Dhoni’s farewell.

Nasser Hussain said Dhoni deserves a proper farewell, and shouldn't retire into the sunset

Nasser Hussain said Dhoni deserves a proper farewell, and shouldn’t be pushed into retirement

“I do believe certain individuals should not just retire into the sunset without some kind of farewell,” said Hussain. “There are certain greats of the game that should get some kind of send-off. The Indian public deserve it. They’ve seen MS Dhoni for so many years; imagine if Sachin [Tendulkar] hadn’t done what he had done in his last game, the great speech he gave at the end of his game etc, Alastair Cook in his last game …

“What I don’t agree with is an all-year-round, whole series … at the end of MS Dhoni’s last game, the Indian fans deserve Dhoni standing on a stage with someone interviewing him, and thanking him for everything he’s done for Indian cricket. The fans deserve that, absolutely. But you can’t have some kind of freak show where it’s all about MS Dhoni, and I’m sure knowing the individual MS, he will not make it about himself.

“But there’s plenty of time to say thank, and I’m sure Dhoni will want to say thank you to the Indian fans and Indian cricket himself.”

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