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India's growth in cricket is due to MS Dhoni: Madan Lal

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 August 2020, 15:14 IST

India's growth in cricket is due to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said former cricketer Madan Lal after the World Cup-winning captain announced his retirement from the international cricket on Saturday.

He added that had India not won the T20 World Cup in 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011 after 28 years, then things could have been different.

"If any team does not win constantly, then it gradually starts slipping down. Dhoni was among the finest captains in the world," Lal said while speaking to ANI.

Pointing out that Dhoni perhaps decided that 2019 World Cup would be his last, Lal added, "It seems Dhoni had already decided that 2019 World Cup would be his last. After his last match in the World Cup, he did not play even a single first-class match. Only a few T20 matches. Had this year's IPL not delayed due to COVID-19, one could have seen him in action. Perhaps Dhoni would have regained his form too."

Lal, who was also an all-rounder and part of the Indian team that won India's first World cup in 1983, went on to say that the retirement is always a "personal decision".

"We all knew Dhoni would retire one-day or the other. Anybody's retirement is always a personal decision. It is always sad to see big cricketers retire. The vacuum created by them is difficult to fill. People like Dhoni come in decades just like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, or Sunil Gavaskar. These cricketers are of a rare breed," Lal further said.

When asked if Dhoni retired perhaps because he did not want to play under any other captain, Lal refuted such possibility.

"This is not the right thing to say. He has played under Virat Kohli too. When Dhoni was captain he took everyone along. On the field, he also helped Kohli on decision making, which was a sign of great cricketer. He always kept the team ahead of himself."

Lal also said that Dhoni's retirement is an opportunity for young cricketers, however, it would be difficult to fill his shoes.

On Saturday, Dhoni took to Instagram to announce his retirement from international cricket. While announcing his decision, Dhoni shared a video with a caption that said, "Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired."

The video had the iconic song 'Mai Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hu' from actor Amitabh Bachchan's 'Kabhie Kabhie' playing in the background.

In the video, Dhoni shared his incredible journey in Team India that included his run out in the 2019 World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand. 


Also Read: Sania Mirza pays tribute to 'legend' Dhoni as he calls time on international career

First published: 16 August 2020, 15:14 IST