Dhoni told me that he wanted to ‘quit Test cricket for good’, says Sanjay Patel

"He called up just after the Test match in Melbourne and told me that he wanted to retire from Test cricket"

“He called up just after the Test match in Melbourne and told me that he wanted to retire from Test cricket”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Patel has revealed that captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not announce his retirement from Test cricket out of the blue.

Dhoni stunned the cricketing world when he decided to retire from the longest format of the game following the third Test against Australia in Melbourne, which ended as a draw.

“MS is a very practical man,” Patel told PTI. “He called up just after the Test match in Melbourne and told me that he wanted to retire from Test cricket.

“I asked him, ‘What happened are you injured or what?’ He just calmly told me, ‘No, I just want to quit Test cricket for good.’ He is an Indian captain and a distinguished cricketer. It’s his personal choice and I needed to respect that.

“I asked him, ‘Is it your final decision,’ and he told me, ‘Please wait a bit as I want to inform the boys about my decision and then you can make an official announcement.’ He duly called up and told me that I have informed the boys and you can go ahead. In the meanwhile, I also contacted chairman of selectors Sandeep (Patil) and Shivlal Yadav. Both felt that we should respect Dhoni’s decision.

“I was a bit taken aback by the suddenness of his statement. But we had spoken about it before the Test also. Now what transpired between us is an internal matter but I can tell you that it wasn’t a decision taken in haste. It was done after due deliberations.”

When asked if Dhoni had been emotional during the phone conversation, Patel said: “I didn’t feel that. But someone, who was present in the dressing room told me that he (Dhoni) was a bit emotional while announcing his decision. He has given fantastic service to Indian cricket and the BCCI has always believed that retirement is any player’s personal choice.

“You have to understand that Dhoni knows the rigours that his body has taken in Test cricket more than anyone else. But there isn’t a single murmur about his leadership in the shorter formats. There is no question of any change in that regard.”

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