‘You never know, the PM may call him’: Shoaib Akhtar reveals how MS Dhoni might play at 2021 T20 World Cup

Updated on Aug 21, 2020 07:42 AM IST

On being asked if it was the right time for Dhoni to retire, Akhtar said that the Indian team would have included the wicketkeeper-batsman in the 2021 World Cup T20 squad because of his popularity.

MS Dhoni and wife with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(Hindustan)
MS Dhoni and wife with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(Hindustan)
Hindustan Times, Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com

Pakistan pace bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar in a recent interaction said that former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni could have played the T20 World Cup next year. MS Dhoni announced his international retirement last week via an Instagram post. After the announcement, the social media went into a frenzy, with sports fraternity sending Dhoni best wishes for the future.

On being asked if it was the right time for Dhoni to retire, Akhtar said that the Indian team would have included the wicketkeeper-batsman in the 2021 World Cup T20 squad because of his popularity.

READ | Sunil Gavaskar gets emotional, says ‘Told Dhoni I’d watch his six in my last moments’

“I think he could have gone on to play the T20 World Cup. The way India supports its stars, the way they love them, and recognizes them, they would have played him in T20s. But it was his personal choice,” Akhtar said in an interaction on Youtube channel ‘Bol Wasim’.

Akhtar, though, added that Dhoni has achieved everything that he could have in his career.

“But again he has won everything, a person from Ranchi has rocked the whole of India, what else do you need. At the end of the day, the world should remember you. And a nation like India, they will never let you get forgotten,” Akhtar said.

 

On being asked if Dhoni will get a farewell game, Akhtar said that entire India will be ready to send him off in style. “India will be geared up to give him a farewell game, trust me. If he doesn’t want it, it is a different thing, but entire India will be ready.

“The whole stadium will be booked for him to play a couple of T20 matches. He still has not retired from IPL. He is going to score big runs in the IPL,” Akhtar said.

Akhtar further went on to add that if India Prime Minister Narendra Modi requests Dhoni to play the T20 World Cup next year, he would not be able to refuse the request.

“He still is not done. He is still going to play IPL for at least two more years. You never know, the Prime Minister may call him and request him to play the T20 World Cup. That is also possible.

“Imran Khan was asked by General Zia-ul-Haq not to leave cricket after 1987, and he played. You cannot say no to the Prime Minister,” Akhtar said.

Dhoni will return to play for CSK when the 13th edition of Indian Premier League kicks off from September 19th in the UAE.

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