Mahendra Singh Dhoni has broken his silence on taking the match ball after the third and last one-day international against hosts England at the Headingley ground, Leeds, on July 14. Dhoni’s reason for taking the match ball at Headingley also confirms his presence for the ICC World Cup 2019. Unless, the selectors or the Board of Control for Cricket in India thinks otherwise.
The video showing Mahendra Singh Dhoni asking the umpires for the match ball after India’s loss in the third and last ODI at Headingley has raised speculation about the retirement of one of the country’s most successful cricketers.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni now has laid all speculation to rest.
The former Indian cricket team captain and India’s limited overs wicketkeeper, Dhoni has revealed the reason that why did he ask for the match ball after the Headingley defeat.
Normally, it is a practice that the players take the stumps or the match ball (bowlers in particular) as a souvenir for their team’s win. But Dhoni has taken the ball after Team India’s defeat. Media and fans immediately started reading into the situation.
Almost a month after the incident, MS Dhoni has cleared that he had taken the ball for his ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 preparation. It is pertinent to mention that the ICC World Cup next year will be hosted by England and Wales.
Dhoni, 37, was seen asking umpires for the match ball at the end of the third ODI with England at Headingley, prompting rumours of an impending retirement on social media.
However, the legendary India wicket-keeper – who hit the winning runs in the 2011 World Cup Final – put those fears to bed, confirming he’s got an eye on next year’s World Cup, ICC has shared in a write up. “Since we will be playing the World Cup in England, we must know what we have to do to get the reverse swing going,” he said at a promotional event in Bandra.
“The opposition is getting it, so we should also get it at some point or the other. That’s why I did that (took the ball from umpire).
“After 50 overs, the ball is useless to the ICC, so I requested the umpire for the ball and gave it to our bowling coach and said we need to work on it so that we can get a bit of reverse swing going.
“That will help the fast bowlers get those yorkers or wickets towards close or after the 40-over mark. That will help us restrict the opposition in the last 10 overs.”