Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni opened up on the 2019 ICC ODI World Cup semi-final loss against New Zealand in Manchester. He expressed that it was difficult for him and the players to control their emotions following the loss. Recently, former batting coach Sanjay Bangar revealed that MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant were in tears after India’s defeat.
Team India failed to chase down 239, losing the match by 18 runs. It turned out to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s final International match. The wicketkeeper did not play for India after that game and announced his retirement on August 15, 2023. Speaking at an event in Bengaluru on Thursday, he opened up on how the team dealt with the semi-final exit from the ICC ODI World Cup 2019. Mahendra Singh Dhoni said,
“It’s difficult to control emotions when you lose close games. I keep my plans ready for every game and for me, it was the last game I played for India. I made the announcement a year later but that day, I retired.”
“We were given some gadgets from the trainer and every time I went to him, I handed those gadgets back but he was like, ‘No, no… just keep it.” And I thought, how should I tell him that it wasn’t needed anymore, because I didn’t want to announce then,” he added.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni on his retirement from International cricket
Mahendra Singh Dhoni further expressed that it was an emotional phase for him to retire from the sport. He expressed that it’s difficult to leave the game that the cricketer has played for more than a decade, representing the country. Talking about his retirement from International cricket, the former Indian skipper said,
“When you are high on emotions and the only thing you have done in the last 12-15 years is playing cricket, and then there’s no more chance of representing your country. It’s a thing with sportspersons. So, once I quit cricket, there was no way I could be representing my country again and bring that glory back. So, you are high on emotions that time.”
Mahendra Singh Dhoni led the Chennai Super Kings to a title win in the Indian Premier League 2023 season. This is their fifth IPL championship win, the joint-most with Mumbai Indians. The wicket-keeper batter is likely to play the 2024 Indian Premier League season.