News

Cricket Field

MS Dhoni Might Be Forced Into Retirement If 2020 IPL Does Not Take Place

MS Dhoni was the center of Indian cricket for over a decade as he captained India to a T20 World Cup championship and an ICC ODI World Cup championship. Captain Marvel slowly started fading from the limelight once he relinquished the captaincy to Virat Kohli and has now been out of the public domain for close to a year.

MS Dhoni Disappears From International Cricket

When India lost the semi-final of the ICC World Cup in May 2019, MS Dhoni was expected to announce his retirement from the ODI game and play only T20s going forward. Dhoni has achieved everything there is to achieve in the ODI format. His fans expected him to keep going and play the T20 World Cup in October 2020 and then say goodbye.

MS Dhoni did not announce his retirement after the World Cup loss in 2019 nor did he divulge any of his plans to the public even though the media kept hounding him about his cricketing future. Instead, MS Dhoni asked the BCCI for a break from cricket and just went off the grid. He stopped playing both ODI and T20 cricket and made himself unavailable for selection.

The pressure to find out what MS Dhoni was going to do next got so intense that the Sourav Ganguly who was not yet BCCI President at that time said it was up to the BCCI to have a chit-chat with Dhoni and find out what his plans for the future was.

Ganguly is now the BCCI President but there has still been no confirmation as to what MS Dhoni’s plans to do next.

IPL 2020 Was Dhoni’s Chance To Shine

Head coach Ravi Shastri told the media that MS Dhoni was still part of the team’s T20 World Cup plans in Australia as they could not afford to overlook a player with his experience and caliber. Shastri said that although MS Dhoni has not played any international cricket, the 2020 IPL would be a great platform for Dhoni to show the selectors that he still has what it takes to play in the World Cup.

MS Dhoni has captained the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise from the first edition of the IPL and has had massive success with CSK winning three IPL tournaments. CSK along with the Mumbai Indians are considered to be two of the most successful IPL franchises.

MS Dhoni was in the news in early March when he once again surfaced in Chennai to be a part of the CSK IPL camp. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought things to an abrupt halt as the BCCI decided to postpone the IPL and CSK decided to dis-band their camp. MS Dhoni went back to his hometown of Ranchi and once again vanished from the public’s eye.

Will The Selectors Back MSD?

The BCCI is yet to make a decision on whether the 2020 IPL will be cancelled. They will wait till the end of April before making a decision. Should the 2020 IPL be cancelled, MS Dhoni will then not have any role to play in swaying the selectors over his selection for the T20 World Cup later this year.

The decision to select or drop MS Dhoni will be left up to chief selector Sunil Joshi and his panel. This will be a key decision for the selectors as the BCCI has now made the selectors accountable for the performance of the Indian team. What this means is that the selectors can no longer afford to let their emotions or MS Dhoni’s past achievements dictate whether he makes the team or not.

The selectors will have to look at the candidates vying for the wicket-keeper role and decide if MS Dhoni is their first choice or second choice. Rishabh Pant has had the most of the opportunities in MS Dhoni’s absence and will clearly be a front runner for the position given the fact that he is young and is a dynamic player in the T20 format. MS Dhoni should be the number 2 option as Sanju Samson hasn’t really done enough to push Dhoni out of contention. However, Virat Kohli has preferred having KL Rahul keep wicket in recent months and if Kohli decides to back KL Rahul, it could close the door on MS Dhoni and force him into retirement!

Ipl

India Bettors Will Be Disappointed With 2020 IPL Cancellation

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest and richest T20 domestic cricketing league in the world. The IPL has taken place every season for the last decade even through adverse circumstances and situations as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has always found a way to host this lucrative T20 competition.

The IPL usually runs for a period of 6 weeks and features the most exciting international and domestic T20 specialists from all over the world. The 2020 IPL was expected to commence at the end of this month and Indian cricket fans were looking forward to supporting their favorite IPL franchise while punters were eager to place their bets and see if they can come out on the winning side.

Will The IPL Start on April 15?

The BCCI and IPL governing committee made the decision earlier this month to postpone the start of the IPL due to the on-going concerns and restrictions brought about by COVID-19. A meeting was called with IPL franchise owners who made a decision to postpone the tournament and not take a risk on the health and safety of the players.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly stated that the IPL will be postponed to April 15 and that his team will carefully monitor the situation and provide updates on a weekly basis. As of now, the IPL is still scheduled to start on April 15 but that appears highly unlikely as all the IPL franchises have cancelled their training camps and their overseas players are yet to travel to India.

Indian sports bettors remain hopeful that the 2020 IPL will take place even if it is a mini version of the tournament. The global situation will have to improve significantly in the next week, if the IPL is to commence on April 15 as the organizers and players will have just about a week to prepare themselves.

The BCCI confirmed earlier that the plan is to have the 2020 IPL take place in empty stadiums in order to protect players and fans. A number of IPL foreign players including Ben Stokes and Jos Butler continue to practice in England as they believe that a shortened version of the IPL will take place!

How Long Can The IPL Be Delayed?   

Indian cricket fans remain hopeful because a member of the BCCI who preferred to remain anonymous said that the IPL body can delay things till May 1 and still get into a mini-version of the tournament. The two most likely scenarios in this case will be to schedule double header matches each day. The earlier IPL schedule only had matches taking place in the evening due to the heat and humidity in India.

To get in as many matches as possible, the organizers will have to schedule 2 matches per day. The first will start around 2.30 pm IST and the second match will start at the usual 8 pm IST schedule time. The IPL teams will have to agree to play in difficult conditions in order to get the tournament underway.

The second scenario is for the IPL to reduce the number of games and still stick to the schedule of having just one game per day – during the evening. The usual IPL schedule has each IPL franchise playing the other franchise two times during the season and then the top four teams on the points table advance to the playoffs.

A shortened version will see the IPL make the decision to host a mini-tournament where each IPL franchise plays the other team just once. The points table will still be followed and the top four teams will go into the playoffs. Rumours suggest that the latest that the IPL championship final can be held in June 5.

Will The 2020 IPL Be Cancelled?

The big question is whether all of this will be possible or whether the 2020 IPL will be cancelled. As of now, India is on a completely lockdown till April 14 and it seems highly unlikely that we will get any cricket action in April. The BCCI and IPL governing body will wait till the last minute before taking a final call on the 2020 IPL. However, as of now it looks like the 2020 IPL will be cancelled and Indian bettors will not be able to place any bets on the 2020 IPL.