No MSD worries for MSK

Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 07:29 IST | Clayton Murzello |

While the cricket world is unsure as to when Dhoni will return to India colours, here's a spoof interview with chief selector Prasad

Chief selector MSK Prasad
Chief selector MSK Prasad

Clayton MurzelloSince there is not a semblance of transparency where Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future is concerned, a veteran journalist decided to do something about it and called MSK Prasad, the chairman of selectors.

Here's how the conversation went:

Journalist: Hello, is that Mr MSK Prasad?
MSK Prasad: Yes, and who is this please?

Journalist: I am calling from the BCC High…
Prasad: Tell me, Sir. Is the ticket booked for my next trip to Mumbai?

Journalist: I am not calling from BCCI… it is 'BCC High' newspaper.
Prasad: Oh! Sorry, I prefer talking at press conferences. Anyway, I can't hear you very well.

Journalist: Two minutes, Sir… just a couple of questions.
Prasad: Quick, quick. I am in the midst of watching some old footage of MS Dhoni.

Journalist: Oh, is it? Why Sir?
Prasad: Because we want him to play like he did in earlier years… fearlessly, smartly and score his runs quickly.

Journalist: That is a good news story for me, Sir.
Prasad: No, no this cannot be published. It was off the record…

Journalist: Sir, I have recorded our conversation, you cannot deny it.
Prasad: Okay, you can ask me your planned questions on Dhoni. I will answer them on the condition you don't inform your readers that I am watching old films of Dhoni.

Journalist: Done deal. Can I carry on?
Prasad: Yes.

Journalist: Can you tell me whether Dhoni was rested or dropped from the team for the T20 series against South Africa and what's his future like?
Prasad: He was rested. Dhoni is an achiever, his future shouldn't be discussed. Even Yuvraj Singh said recently: "MSD needs to decide when he wants to go out."

Journalist: If players decide when to end their careers, what are selectors there for?
Prasad: Our job is to select and drop only junior players. When it comes to seniors, we only speak to them as to when they would like to make their exits.

Journalist: Chief selectors have a track record of being stingy with the truth, so don't blame me for probing...
Prasad: Dhoni needs rest. Period. He has been playing for India since 2004 and the amount of cricket is taking a toll on his body. He also has to get super fit for next year's IPL —the world's best tournament.

Journalist: Does Dhoni fit into this young team?
Prasad: Why not? Good selectors always pick a mix of youth and experience. He looks somewhat youthful and is experienced.

Journalist: Sir, do you really believe Dhoni can win you a match off his own bat?
Prasad: No, but he can contribute decently to make poor totals look moderate.

Journalist: Sir, you should settle for nothing less than extraordinary...
Prasad: The captain has no problems with it; the coach is happy, so why should you have an issue? I think I have given you enough, now please let me return to my research on Dhoni. This conversation is going nowhere.

Journalist: Not as near nowhere as Dhoni's career...
Prasad: Please don't mock our former captain. Have you won a T20 World Cup? Have you won a 50-50 World Cup? More importantly, have you ever touched the IPL trophy?

Journalist: That was many years ago...
Prasad: True, but we still celebrate those wins. Haven't you read all the nostalgic tweets and television shows on the 12th anniversary of our World T20 win?

Journalist: But we didn't win any of the next five editions, including the one at home in 2016...
Prasad: Look, you cannot write off the past. If he can help India win in 2007, why can't he do so next year in Australia?

Journalist: That was a different Dhoni.
Prasad: It's the same Dhoni. He is still feared by the opposition and continues to be praised to the skies by all the commentators, through thick and thin.

Journalist: Please clear the air on Dhoni's future. The nation wants to know...
Prasad: See, Arnab...

Journalist: My name is not Arnab...
Prasad: Sorry about that. See, I don't have to repeat my views on him. He has been rested and he may return or call it a day soon.

Journalist: And when do you think that will happen, Sir?
Prasad: Very soon.

Journalist: Can you be more specific?
Prasad: After the BCCI elections.

Journalist: What do the BCCI elections have to do with this?
Prasad: It is a very big factor.

Journalist: I can't wait to hear why. I insist on the reason…
Prasad: Since you insist, I will tell you.

Journalist: Say it.
Prasad: Because after the elections, there will be a new selection committee and the new chairman will have to speak to him about retirement. Dhoni's future is my successor's problem.

Journalist: Sir, but you are passing the buck...
Prasad: No, no, we have kept our bucks to ourselves. Didn't you read about the big pay hike we selectors got? And the next chairman could earn even more than me.

Journalist: Thanks for your time, Sir.
Prasad: Wait, wait… what headline will you give for this interview? Please do not misquote me.

Journalist:: We won't; will quote you verbatim.

Prasad: I insist on hearing the headline.
Journalist: Since you insist, here it is: 'DHONI'S FUTURE IS MY SUCCESSOR'S PROBLEM'

mid-day's group sports editor Clayton Murzello is a purist with an open stance. He tweets @ClaytonMurzello Send your feedback to mailbag@mid-day.com

The views expressed in this column are the individual's and don't represent those of the paper

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