End of an era: Did MS Dhoni hint that he would retire in January?

Wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on Thursday dropped from the BCCI's list of centrally contracted players, raising fresh doubts on the future of the former India captain.

The 38-year-old who is currently enjoying some time away from the game had to endure harsh criticism for his slow batting approach during India's matches in the World Cup. Especially in the games against England and New Zealand (semi-final), he had to bear the brunt of Twitterati who deemed him as the reason for the Men in Blue's loss.

The two-time World Cup winning captain hasn't played a single game since the World Cup semifinal defeat to New Zealand last year. Speculations are rife that Dhoni may have already called curtains on his illustrious career and would have also informed BCCI President Sourav Ganguly about the same.

"How does one read M S Dhoni not getting a central contract? The BCCI giving him a clear signal, or mutually reached understanding? Remember, Dhoni hasn't retired and will play the IPL. Consider also he hasn't stepped on to a cricket field since the 50-overs World Cup," said journalist and columnist Ayaz Menon.

In an interview in November last year, Mahendra Singh Dhoni had dodged questions about his cricketing future by replying enigmatically, “January tak mat poocho (don't ask me till January)."

With January having already reached its mid and the T20 World Cup in sight which will be held in Australia starting mid-October, commentators and fans have drawn their conclusion and #ThankYouDhoni has started trending on Twitter.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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