Mahendra Singh Dhoni could be the first Indian cricketer to pull out of a tour citing fatigue. The India ODI skipper, it was learnt late on Monday, had conveyed this to the BCCI.
Earlier, asked whether he would opt out of the Sri Lanka tour, where the first of the three-Test series begins on July 23, Dhoni said: “You will get to know it in the next couple of days.”
Make what you will of that but remember Dhoni had a similar answer to the question after India were annihilated by Sri Lanka in Sunday’s Asia Cup final in Karachi. Also remember that he had, during the Asia Cup, raised the issue of international cricket’s gruelling schedule.
On Monday, he also appreciated an earlier statement from the BCCI that a player could rest when he felt the need for it. “In the sub-continent we have a full year of cricket and there’s no off-season. It’s tough for cricketers. When we want rest we should get it,” he said. “The BCCI has said we can take rest whenever we want which, I think, is a very good policy,” he said.
The birthday boy — he turned 27 on Monday — said he was “100 per cent fit”. Playing non-stop since India’s ODI series against South Africa in June 2007, Dhoni may opt out of the Tests and take over for the 5 one-dayers, beginning August 18.
Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI chief administrative officer, said he knew nothing about this. Ditto chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar. So, till the squad for Lanka is announced on Wednesday, watch this space.
Inputs from G. Krishnan