The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was slated to unveil India’s squad for the T20 World Cup, which begins on October 17 in the United Arab Emirates, and the unexpected selections and omissions were expected to dominate the headlines on Wednesday. When secretary Jay Shah announced that MS Dhoni will be joining the team as a World Cup mentor, the former India captain’s appointment took centre stage.
When Jay Shah approached MS Dhoni with the proposal, he stated the former captain expressed a strong desire to help the Indian squad. The BCCI secretary expressed his delight that Dhoni accepted to serve as a mentor for Virat Kohli and his team in the United Arab Emirates.
According to sources, Jay Shah had considered using MS Dhoni’s experience as early as two months before the news was made. Shah held a virtual conversation with Dhoni, offering him the chance to work as a mentor for the Indian squad in the UAE.
After receiving clarification on his role at the T20 World Cup, Dhoni agreed to the proposal.
The proposal was then presented to skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who both accepted.
The BCCI secretary then conferred with India’s head coach, Ravi Shastri, whose final task will be the T20 World Cup. MS Dhoni will travel as a mentor, Shah told the former India captain, and will take on a similar job with equal responsibility.
Shastri welcomed the idea, stating he would be pleased for Dhoni to take on the role of mentor and for the squad to benefit from it.
Shah then took it to the BCCI, where he discussed it with his colleagues before the board officially announced the appointment on Wednesday.
Dhoni’s three ICC titles, including the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the WC in 2011, would be useful as India prepares for what appears to be a tight-knit edition of the T20 World Cup. Dhoni got along well with head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli. In the locker room, he commands respect, with numerous young players selected on Wednesday looking up to the former captain.
With Ravi Shastri’s excellent time as India’s head coach coming to an end after the T20 World Cup, the country will be looking for a new coach. While Dhoni is unlikely to take over as coach anytime soon, the BCCI may retain his services in such mentorship capacities for key events.
The 2023 World Cup will be held in India. Kohlli’s team will also compete in next year’s T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia in October and November.
On August 15, 2020, Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket. He has, however, continued to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. Dhoni came in the UAE last month and has been preparing for the IPL’s return with a handful of his CSK teammates.