‘I had made my entire planning’: Dhoni reveals 2019 WC semifinal loss as turning point in retirement decision

New Delhi: Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has shared insights into his decision to retire from international cricket, saying that he had made up his mind after India’s defeat to New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup semifinal, that it would be his last game in India colours.

In the 13 months that followed India’s semifinal exit from the 2019 World Cup, Dhoni conspicuously stayed away from the cricketing arena, eventually confirming his retirement on August 15, 2020.

Speaking at an event in Bengaluru, Dhoni revealed that he decided after the semifinal that it was the last game he played for India and said: “It gets difficult to control your emotions when you have lost a close game. And inside, I had made my entire planning. To me, that was the last day I played cricket for India. I took retirement a year later but the fact is that, that day I had retired. We cricketers are given certain machines and all of that

“So every time I went to the trainer I gave it back to him. He said ‘No you keep it. And in my mind, I am like ‘how do I tell him I won’t be needing or using it anymore’. I didn’t want to announce it at that point in time.”

Dhoni further said: “You are high on emotions. The only thing you’ve done in the last 12-15 years is play cricket. And then there is no more chance of you representing the country. There are so many people but only few get that opportunity. And sportspersons, they have that. Irrespective of which sport you play, you are representing your country. Be it the Commonwealth Games, Olympics… So, once I quit cricket, there was no way I would be representing my country. I could no longer bring any glory. All those things are going on in mind.”

Despite retiring from international cricket, the former skipper remains an active player for IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings and led the side to its 5th title in 2023 during which he was marred by a knee injury which limited him to cameo appearances with the bat. But, he had promised his fans that he would return in IPL 2024.

After CSK won their fifth IPL crown, Dhoni subsequently underwent surgery on his knee.

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