Former captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday took over as the chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). After taking over, Ganguly held a press conference, during which he was questioned about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement and role in the team. Ganguly said that Dhoni was a great player of Indian cricket and every player will be respected “as long as I am around”. Ganguly said that champions do not finish soon.
In the press conference, when Ganguly was asked whether he had talked to the team management or selectors about continuing with Dhoni, the former Team India capitain from West Bengal said that such things used to happen when he had gone out of the team, but that would not happen any more. “It depends on him. I have always said when I was left out and the entire world said ‘I will never make it’. I came back and played for four years. Champions don’t finish very quickly,” Ganguly said.
“I don’t know what’s in his mind or what he thinks about his career. But we will deal with that. He is one of the greats of the game. India is very proud of MS Dhoni. Over the period of time, his achievements.. when you sit down and take note of what he is done… you say ‘wow’. Till I am around, everybody will be respected. That doesn’t change,” Ganguly said.
Ganguly said that the BCCI would not take any decision on Dhoni’s retirement, nor will any pressure be made on him by the management. Dhoni himself will have to decide on retirement.
Ganguly will serve as BCCI president for only 9 months. The “cooling-off” period condition in the new BCCI constitution makes it mandatory for board officials to step down after six years in office.
Ganguly had filed his nomination for the role of BCCI president after a last-minute drama earlier this month. He was elected unopposed as the president of the richest body in world cricket.
Since India’s semi-final exit from the World Cup 2019, Dhoni has been away from international cricket. The 38-year-old skipped the West Indies tour to join the Indian Army. Dhoni made himself unavailable also for the home T20I series against South Africa.