MS Dhoni Understood Cricket Is Important But ‘Not Everything’, Says 2011 WC Winner


Chennai: Cricket remains integral but “not everything” for MS Dhoni, says his former India teammate Zaheer Khan of the man with a penchant for catching the world off-guard and an eagerness to explore various avenues.

At 42, the two-time World Cup winning captain Dhoni is gearing up to lead Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming IPL. The charismatic former India skipper had quit international cricket four years back.

“MS Dhoni understood a long time ago that he is passionate about cricket and it is an integral part of his life. But it couldn’t be everything,” Zaheer said in an episode dedicated to Dhoni on JioCinema.

Besides his World Cup triumphs and India’s march to the world number one position in Tests, Dhoni has led CSK to a joint-record five IPL titles, having taken on the top leadership role from the league’s inaugural edition in 2008.

Zaheer said, “When you’re playing, switching off (from the game) is very important. Cricket is not everything. Every cricketer has to face this eventually.” “When you step away from the game, you may not have a lot of options. We’ve seen many athletes struggle after retiring because they gave everything to the game, and when they left it, they didn’t know what to do.

“In this sense, MS Dhoni understood a long time ago that he is passionate about cricket and it is an integral part of his life. But it couldn’t be everything.

“He keeps doing things outside of the sport. For example, his interest in bikes. He’s always researching them.” Speaking about Dhoni, ex-India and CSK all-rounder Suresh Raina said he wants his former teammate to continue playing in IPL for another five years.

“The biggest question is who’ll be their next captain? Even if Dhoni stepped away as captain, he’ll be in the dugout whether it’s as a mental toughness coach or just for his presence. But the question is, who is he going to nurture? “This is a pivotal year for CSK. Who does MS have his eyes on? Ruturaj Gaikwad is a good option. This year is a very important year for CSK, more than for MS Dhoni.

“Because we’ll see who he is going to select as his deputy and probably say: ‘You handle this now, I’ve been looking after the team since 2008. You take care of the yellow, I will wear the jersey and sit in the dressing room’,” Raina said.

“It’s important now to see how he plans for the future. He’s 42 years old. I would love to see him play for five more years, or at least two or three more years.” The IPL starts on Friday with reigning champions CSK taking Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the opener. 

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)


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