MS Dhoni's much-anticipated IPL comeback may not happen anytime soon in light of the COVID-19 pandemic but his childhood coach Keshav Ranjan Banerjee remains hopeful that the ageing cricketing hero will find a place in India's T20 World Cup squad.
Kolkata: MS Dhoni's much-anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) comeback may not happen anytime soon in light of the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic but his childhood coach Keshav Ranjan Banerjee remains hopeful that the ageing cricketing hero will find a place in India's T20 World Cup.
The lucrative T20 tournament's 2020 edition, which had already been postponed to 15 April, is on the verge of cancellation with the country in a 21-day national lockdown beginning Wednesday to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Dhoni has been out of action since India's semi-final exit in the World Cup in July last year.
"In the current scenario, IPL looks unlikely and we will have to wait for BCCI's call. His (Dhoni's) position will become tough obviously. But my sixth sense says he will get a chance in the T20 World Cup, which will be his last," Banerjee told PTI from Ranchi.
The Chennai Super Kings captain trained in Ranchi in the lead up to IPL 2020 and also led their training camp in Chennai before the league was postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
"I spoke to him last after he returned from Chennai and I'm in constant touch with his parents. He's doing his fitness training and is fully fit.
"Now let's wait for the BCCI's decision. There's no tournament. ICC tournaments are off till June. So we will have to wait and see."
Head coach Ravi Shastri had earlier said the IPL would decide the fate of Dhoni, who will turn 39 in July.
But with IPL about to get shelved this year, the Indian greats including that of Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag, had raised a question mark on the return of the 2011 World Cup-winning skipper.
"True that he has not played a tournament (since July 2019) but for someone with 538 International matches, I don't think it would take much time to adjust."
"It would have been a different scenario for a beginner. But it's not the case with Dhoni he has got a wealth of experience. I think he will get a last chance," maintained Banerjee.
"He is fully fit and trained in Chennai for a week or so. Now everything is closed in Ranchi, earlier he would train at the JSCA. But now he's confined at home and making use of the facilities at home. He has a gym, a badminton court, and a running corridor."
"I'm sure BCCI (president, selectors, captain) are aware of the scenario. They will make the announcement when it's the right time," Banerjee added.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
BCCI has doubled the pension of former first-class and Test cricketers with those earning Rs 15,000 going up to Rs 30,000 and those with Rs 37,500 being upgraded to Rs 60,000 bracket. Those who received Rs 50,000 from now on will get Rs 70,000.
BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly, said it is extremely important that the financial well-being of our former cricketers is taken care of.
The media rights value has grown more than two and a half times than what Star India paid in the year 2017