MS Dhoni says he didn't get ‘discount for age’ as IPL retirement talks in full swing | Crickit
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MS Dhoni says he didn't get ‘discount for age’ as IPL retirement talks in full swing

May 21, 2024 12:14 PM IST

MS Dhoni said there is no option but to stay fit if you want to play at the highest level as no one gets a discount for age.

MS Dhoni will be nudging 44 by the time the next IPL starts. Does he have another season in him? It looks unlikely, but with Dhoni, one can never predict. The speculations about Dhoni's IPL retirement have been doing the rounds for the last couple of editions but the legendary keeper-batter is going strong. The biggest reason behind that is his unmatchable fitness. Sure, the Impact Player rule has helped Dhoni wait till the last four overs to come out and bat - As the CSK management has time and again confessed during IPL 2024 that Dhoni's dodgy knee won't allow him to bat for long - but the former captain has given it his all with the bat and behind the stumps.

Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni during the match against RCB in the Indian Premier League 2024.(ANI )
Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni during the match against RCB in the Indian Premier League 2024.(ANI )

Due to knee surgery last year, CSK has managed Dhoni's workload throughout the ongoing season. He came out to bat when a handful of deliveries were left.

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Yet he put up staggering figures in 14 matches. Dhoni amassed 161 runs at an average of 53.67 and a whopping strike rate of 220.55.

Also Read | MS Dhoni in consideration to be deal-breaker in selecting Rahul Dravid's replacement as India's head coach

He made a valiant effort (25 off 13 balls) in CSK's must-win match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru but could not get them over the line. CSK were knocked out of the playoffs race and finished fifth in the IPL 2024 points table.

Speaking in a video on Dubai Eye 103.8 YouTube channel on Monday, Dhoni highlighted the importance of staying fit. The two-time World Cup-winning captain said there is no option but to stay fit if you want to play at the highest level as no one gets a discount for age.

"The toughest thing is... I am not playing cricket throughout the year. So I have to be fit. Once I come, you are competing against youngsters who are fit and playing international cricket. Professional sport is not easy, nobody gives you a discount for age. If you want to play, you have to be as fit as the other guy. Age does not really give that grace to you. So, eating habits, a bit of training and all those things are there. Social media, thankfully, I am not on social media, so there's less distraction."

‘Once I quit international cricket…’: Dhoni

Dhoni also said that during the peak of his cricketing career, when he was active across all formats, he missed having family time since he was always occupied with cricket, endorsements, etc. He also opened up about various things that de-stressed him and helped him maintain his focus, including pets.

"Once I quit international cricket, I wanted to spend a bit more time with my family. But, at that same time, to be mentally active, to have that passion to stay focussed -- for me, I love farming, for me it is the motorbikes, I have started getting into vintage cars. These things de-stress me. If am stressed, I would maybe go to the garage, spend a couple of hours over there and I will just be fine, I would come back," he said.

"I have always felt growing up with a pet, whether it is a cat or a dog... I prefer dogs though. They have unconditional love towards you. I have said this in a previous interview, even if I lose a game and come back, my dog greets me the same way," Dhoni further said.

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