Independence Day or August 15 in 2020 was a sad day for the fans of former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The legendary Indian wicketkeeper batsman and Chennai Super Kings skipper announced his retirement from international cricket out of the blue.
The 2019 World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand proved to be Dhoni’s final international appearance in Team India colours.
The 39-year-old simply posted a video on his Instagram handle to make people aware of his retirement. Almost 10 months after Dhoni’s shock retirement, CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad shared the details of mood in the franchise after they learned about Dhoni’s retirement. Ruturaj revealed that around 10 to 15 players were training alongside Dhoni in Chennai but no player had an inkling regarding the retirement as they practiced like any other day on August 15.
It was through social media that CSK players got to know about the former skipper’s retirement. When Ruturaj was questioned regarding Dhoni’s retirement from Indian Premier League (IPL), the opener revealed that nobody knows what goes in the mind of the CSK skipper. “I don’t have any idea about that (if MS Dhoni will retire before next year’s IPL). Because I remember he announced his (international) retirement on 15th August last year. On that day, we were 10-12 people in Chennai practicing just before leaving Dubai.
“Around 6:30 pm our practice got over and at 7:00 we all, including Mahi Bhai, sat for dinner. And suddenly someone told me on Instagram that Mahi Bhai had announced his retirement! There was no vibe that something like that was going to happen, no discussions, no one knew anything at all. So, you never know with him. Anything can happen,” Ruturaj Gaikwad was quoted as saying by India TV.
Ruturaj Gaikwad notched up 196 runs in seven games with two half-centuries before IPL 2021 was suspended due to rising COVID-19 cases in India. The Maharashtra opener revealed that nobody had the guts to ask anything from Dhoni related to his retirement. All the players were quite shocked and it took them around three to four days to sink in the news. Along with Dhoni, Suresh Raina also announced his retirement via his Instagram handle.
“I couldn’t dare to ask him because we all were still grieving. It didn’t sink in immediately that we won’t see him again in international cricket or that a man of his stature has retired like this. It took 2-3 days to realize it. Not only me but for everyone present there,” Ruturaj claimed.
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