Dhoni dead-bats retirement question before it's asked with 'do not ask till January'

At an event in Mumbai, when a question about his absence from international cricket was about to begin, M.S. Dhoni interrupted and ended the interaction.

M.S. Dhoni poses during the launch of his signature collection limited edition Panerai watches in Mumbai.   -  AFP

At a time when everyone in Indian cricket is discussing the future of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the cricketer, the man himself preferred to reminisce in his fondest memories while wearing the India jersey.

“There are two incidents I would like to mention over here. After the 2007 (T20) World Cup, we came back to India and had an open bus trip and we were standing at the Marine Drive (in Mumbai). It was jam-packed all around and people had come out of their cars. So, I felt good after seeing the smile on everyone’s face. Because, there could have been so many people in the crowd, who might have missed their flights, perhaps they were going important work or at some office. The kind of reception we got, the entire Marine Drive was full from one end to other,” Dhoni said here on Wednesday after launching a special edition of Paneria, the luxury watch brand he endorses.

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“And the second instance I would say the 2011 World Cup final, in that match when 15-20 runs were required, the way all the spectators started chanting ‘Vande Mataram’. These two moments…I think it will be difficult to replicate them. Those are the two moments which are close to my heart.”

Having last appeared on the field in July during India’s World Cup semifinal loss against New Zealand, Dhoni’s future in international cricket has been a matter of great debate. While his participation in the next edition of the Indian Premier League is all but certain, there have been conflicting reports from various corners of the team management.

While chief selector M.S.K. Prasad said last month that the selection panel has “moved on” from Dhoni, head coach Ravi Shastri on Monday reportedly indicated Dhoni could still be a part of the next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

The former India captain, however, preferred to keep everyone guessing even on Wednesday. When a question about his absence from the field for a long time was about to begin, he interrupted immediately and ended the interaction. When prompted further, all he responded with was: “January tak mat poocho (Do not ask till January).”

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