‘Country comes first’ | cricket | Hindustan Times
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‘Country comes first’

MS Dhoni said he would opt for the Test match if it comes to a choice between the Champions League final or the first Test against England. Although on expected lines, the statement nonetheless is significant, considering the amount of talk going around on the primacy of Test cricket, reports Subhash Rajta.

cricket Updated: Nov 19, 2008 22:50 IST
Subhash Rajta

MS Dhoni said he would opt for the Test match if it comes to a choice between the Champions League final or the first Test against England. Although on expected lines, the statement nonetheless is significant, considering the amount of talk going around on the primacy of Test cricket.

"I am not aware about what exactly is happening, but of course the country comes first. This is for the BCCI to decide and I will go by whatever it decides, but if it comes down to a choice between the two, I will obviously play the Test," said Dhoni, on being asked about the BCCI's request to the ECB to delay the Test series by a day.

Dhoni also brushed aside the suggestion that the Champions League and the talk around it might prove a distraction for the team. "All we are concerned about right now is the upcoming match. We aren't thinking about anything else, not even the ODIs after Kanpur or the Test series. So, I don't think the upcoming league could distract us," he declared.

The skipper also didn't take kindly to the suggestion that it was primarily the big money on offer that that was pushing players into non-stop cricket. "I don't think money is always an issue. We (the Indian players) make enough money to take care of ourselves just after playing two –three years of international cricket. It's more the love of the game and the passion to represent the country that keeps the player going," explained Dhoni.

Besides, said the Indian skipper, the players could opt for rest whenever they feel the need to do so. "I opted out of the Sri Lanka series for I felt I might have got injured if I had continued playing then. I think we will see many more players coming up and asking for rest whenever they want to, for the Board too is very keen on it," said Dhoni.

That board too is thinking favourably about rotating player and that should come as a relief to the players who are slogging continuously in this non-stop cricket calendar of the present times. All they would need to summon is some self belief and sense of security to avail the much-needed allowance.