Speculations about the future of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future have been rife in the past fortnight and have become even more intense after India's loss in the World Cup semi-final to New Zealand. A lot of people expect MSD to hang up his boots as far as international cricket is concerned. What happens next only Dhoni knows.
But now, a politician - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sanjay Paswan - has added another rumour to the many that are doing the rounds. The former minister in the Union government has claimed that the veteran Indian cricketer may well join the ruling party in future.
"On this issue, there has been a discussion for long, although this decision will be taken only after his retirement. Dhoni is my friend, he is a player of world fame and there have been discussions on bringing him into the party fold," Paswan told news agency IANS.
Interestingly, Dhoni's home state Jharkhand goes to polls later this year and some people have even gone to the extent of suggesting that the 2011 World Cup winning captain may be put up by BJP as their chief-ministerial candidate.
This seems a rather unlikely proposition as Dhoni has never associated himself with any political party or even voiced an opinion on any issue which can be even remotely construed as political. While his temperament may be suited to tense on-field situations, especially when his team is chasing a target, it may not be appropriate for the cut-throat, visceral atmosphere that currently exists in the country's politics.
The involvement of cricketers and sportspersons in politics has increased in recent times. Gautam Gambhir, former teammate of Dhoni, recently contested and won Lok Sabha elections from East Delhi constituency. Similarly, S Sreesanth had been fielded by the saffron party during the Assembly elections of Kerala in 2016.
Congress too have recruited former cricketers such as Mohammad Azharuddin and Mohammad Kaif. While the former was an MP from 2009-2014, Kaif lost the Lok Sabha elections from the constituency of Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh.
There have even been rumours of BJP looking to bring former India captain Sourav Ganguly into their fold and making him the chief-ministerial candidate in West Bengal. Ganguly has refused to comment on the issue till now. Let's see what Dhoni's plans are.