Dhoni pulls out of Windies tour, on sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment

Sources insist that this is not a retirement hint. Dhoni is simply taking a two-month sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment, a commitment he had made earlier.

MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is expected to spend the better part of the next two months with his territorial army regiment. (File photo)   -  Getty Images

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday made himself “unavailable” for the Indian team’s tour of West Indies as speculations raged about his future.

An Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army, it is learnt that Dhoni will be spending better part of the next two months with his regiment.

A top BCCI official confirmed the development.

READ : Dhoni has no immediate plans to retire, says longtime friend Arun Pandey

“Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the tour of West Indies as he will be spending two months with his paramilitary regiment,” the official told PTI.

“We would like to say three things. He is not retiring from cricket right now. He is taking a two month sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment which he had committed much earlier,” he said.

“We have now intimated his decision to skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad,” the senior official added.

Dhoni, 38, has intimated his decision to the BCCI prior to the selection committee meeting on Sunday.

With Dhoni pulling out of the tour, Rishabh Pant is expected to be first wicketkeeper in all three formats while Wriddhiman Saha will be Pant’s understudy in the Tests.