MS Dhoni refuses to rule out playing in Big Bash after he retires from international cricket

Indian one-day captain MS Dhoni has refused to rule out a future stint in the Big Bash League but said he would need to make sure his body was up to the demands of the high-paced domestic T20 game in Australia.

No contracted Indian player has featured in the BBL because the all-powerful BCCI does not want any of its players partaking in a rival of the Indian Premier League. Now that Dhoni has retired from Test cricket, he is in a position to weigh up his options outside of international cricket more than he did before.  Asked about the prospect of an Australian stint given the BBL's overwhelming success, Dhoni kept his cards close to his chest but did not completely rule out the idea. 

MS Dhoni has hinted at a DRS conspiracy against the touring Indians.
MS Dhoni has hinted at a DRS conspiracy against the touring Indians.  Photo: AP

"It's very difficult for me, we are quite focused on international cricket as of now," Dhoni said. "We'll see how the future goes. It depends on when I retire, whether I'm in a position to play international cricket because the Big Bash, if you see the quality of cricket, is high so a lot depends on the physical fitness and also the ability to carry on and play more cricket.  When you play for 10 to 15 years at times you feel you have played too much cricket, so we'll have to wait and watch and it will depend on the retirement whether it [a Big Bash appearance] comes." 

Dhoni, who has played 270 ODIs, did not name a side for Tuesday's fixture but said throughout the series there would be a number of debutants relishing the challenge of competing in Australian conditions. "I feel they are a very good side and the same is happening to us," Dhoni said. "Australia is a place where you get good competitive cricket and I feel that actually helps you gain experience much faster. I think it'll be a win-win scenario for both teams when it comes to going through this phase. Australia are known to play tough cricket irrespective of who they are competing against which means it gives our youngsters a fair amount of exposure."

The last time the two countries faced off was in the World Cup semi-final in March; a game which Australia won thanks to a sparkling century from Steve Smith.

Dhoni said he didn't want to use the word "revenge" in reference to the World Cup defeat.


"You want to compete, you want to win games, because at the end of the day you're representing your country," Dhoni said. "At the same time you want to follow the guidelines and the spirit of the game." 

Meanwhile, DRS will not be used during the one-day series, with the BCCI remaining unmoved on its anti-technology stance.  President Shashank Manohar said in December unless DRS became "foolproof" the Indians would continue to refuse the technology in any bilateral series despite the fact it is embraced by every other board. 

The ICC has asked India to accept DRS, but the BCCI rejected such a proposal.  As recent as last summer, the touring Indians were unwilling to use DRS, which resulted in a number of umpiring howlers that would have been overturned with the technology. 

It is, however, a relief for cricket fans who have at times complained that DRS taints the excitement of seeing an umpire's finger extend to the sky given the decision can be overturned. 

Despite DRS not being used for decision-making on the field, Channel Nine has set up the technology at its disposal, meaning viewers can see whether or a not a decision would have been overturned.