Vijay Hazare Trophy: Dhoni refused to lead Jharkhand, says JSCA secretary
JSCA secretary Rajesh Verma says India ODI & T20 skipper didn't take up the job as he is unaware of several players' potential
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has made himself available for domestic cricket for the first time since last playing for his state Jharkhand in an inter-state T20 tournament in 2006-07. India's limited overs skipper has been named in the 15-member squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy from December 10-18 to be played in Bangalore.
MS Dhoni during a practice session in Dharamsala last month. Pic/PTI
However, India's most successful skipper will not be leading the Jharkhand team and India pacer Varun Aaron will instead. Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) secretary Rajesh Verma said Dhoni was offered leadership of the team.
"We had offered him the captaincy, but he refused. He didn't want to take up the captaincy because he is not aware about the potential of many players in the squad. We have a very young squad with many players advancing from the U-19 and U-23 teams. He (Dhoni) also wanted someone young to experience leading the team as that would help groom leaders for the state," Verma told mid-day from Ranchi.
Dhoni, who is currently in the United States for a charity golf event, will return today and join the team later. "He is a father figure to the boys. It is a good morale-booster for the team. He will use his experience of captaining Team India whenever Aaron requires any help," said Verma, who ruled out the possibility of Dhoni not taking up captaincy to concentrate on his batting instead.
Dhoni has never played Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand ever since his international debut in 2004 against Bangladesh.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Dhanraj Pillay relives Indian Hockey's dream run of 1998!