ms dhoni
Ambati Rayudu believes MS Dhoni, who seemed frustrated and unlikely to retire after an uncharacteristic performance, may return for IPL 2025, urging the BCCI to keep the impact player role.

Former cricketers Matthew Hayden and Ambati Rayudu have shared contrasting views on MS Dhoni’s future in the Indian Premier League. Hayden believes that IPL has bid farewell to one of its greatest icons, citing Dhoni’s limited role with the bat due to a troublesome knee.

Despite Dhoni’s impactful cameos and consistent wicketkeeping for CSK, his physical struggles, particularly with his knee, have been evident since 2023. In contrast, Rayudu, having played for CSK before, believes that Dhoni’s cricketing journey might not be over yet.

Dhoni’s 2024 season saw him relinquish captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad, focusing on mentoring and freeing himself from leadership burdens. After CSK’s disappointing exit from IPL 2024, Hayden speculated that while this might mark Dhoni’s final appearance on the field, he could potentially continue his association with CSK in a mentoring or official role.

“I think this is it. I do believe that this will be the last time that MS Dhoni will play. Certainly won’t be the last time that we see MS Dhoni. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t mentor or be a part of the family of CSK in an official capacity,” Hayden told Star Sports.

However, Ambati Rayudu disagreed with Hayden, suggesting that MS Dhoni might not retire yet, deeming a league-stage exit an inadequate conclusion to his illustrious career. Rayudu believes Dhoni’s frustration hints at a desire for a more fitting end. 

“I don’t think this is his last game. I just don’t see him wanting to end on this note. He looked a little frustrated, even when he got out. That’s very unlike MS Dhoni, he just wanted to qualify and finish on a high. But you never know with MS Dhoni, he might come back next year. And with the impact player role as well, it gives him the opportunity to be able to come in those last few overs and truly make that impact. BCCI better not remove the impact player role because we still want to see MS Dhoni play.  So, it’s up to BCCI now. Do we want to see MS Dhoni play or not,” Rayudu said.

READ ALSO | RCB Players Face Criticism from Michael Vaughan for Ignoring MS Dhoni’s Likely Retirement

Hayden then remarked that as MS Dhoni nears the end of his career, he will continue to strive for top performance, emphasizing that Dhoni’s focus is always on winning, even in challenging situations.

Earlier, in a must-win match against CSK, RCB needed an 18-run victory to advance. Batting first, RCB scored 218/5 in 20 overs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Despite Rachin Ravindra’s quick fifty and a late surge from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni, RCB secured a 27-run win, qualifying for the playoffs.

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Last Updated on May 19, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter