The Indian cricket team need former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni more than he needs the team, claimed his two-decade-old friend and business partner Arun Pandey. He also stated that Dhoni has no plans to retire at this moment and the rumours are all unnecessary ones.
"The team needs him more than him needing the team," Pandey told the Indian Express.
"There is no plan as such (to retire), no one has thought about it. It is an unnecessary debate. It seems a few people were waiting for the World Cup to get over so that they could talk about Dhoni," he added.
Pandey also mentioned that there are no issues with his fitness and performance and it is very shameful that people are talking in this way.
"There is no issue of his fitness, his performance. Whether he should continue playing or not, that's another issue. It's shameful that people are talking in this way. The day he (Dhoni) feels he is not giving his hundred per cent, he will move on. There is no plan as such. He retired in 2014 when he wanted to retire from Test cricket. He is not one to stretch his career unnecessarily," he added.
Pandey looks after the player management firm Rhiti Sports who handle Dhoni's business interests. They have been close friends for more than two decades and has been working with each other for a long time.
The Men in Blue crashed out of the ICC Cricket World Cup after losing the semi-final clash against New Zealand. The Indian middle-order succumbed to the pace bowling attack of the Kiwis. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja showed some resilience but could not win it for India.
Throughout the tournament, Dhoni had faced criticism from cricket fans for scoring at a slow rate in most of the matches. Even former cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar have criticised his batting in the matting against Afghanistan which India somehow managed to win. The 37-year-old World Cup winner has made himself unavailable for India's upcoming West Indies tour and is expected to retire sometime soon.