Watch: Sunil Gavaskar Questions MS Dhoni’s Long Break From Cricket

Batting great Sunil Gavaskar, on Saturday, 11 January, questioned former India Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s sabbatical from the game, saying he was surprised that a cricketer could keep himself away from playing for India for as long as the wicket-keeper batsman has.

On being asked if he believes Dhoni could be part of the upcoming World T20 if he stays fit enough, Gavskar retorted saying: “Fitness is something that I can’t tell anything at all. But the question that I think that needs to be asked is of MSD himself. He has not made himself available to play for India since the 10th of July,” he said.

"“He has not made himself available. So that is the main important point. Does anybody keep himself away from playing for India? For that long? That is the question. And therein lies the answer.” " - Sunil Gavaskar, on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s absence from cricket

Recently, Team India Head Coach Ravi Shastri had hinted Dhoni could retire from the 50-over format of the game soon. “I have had a conversation with MS and that is between us. He has finished his Test career, he may soon end his ODI career... In all probability, he will finish one-day cricket,” Shastri was quoted as saying by CNN News18.

Gavaskar also hit out at the disparity between the Indian Premier League and Ranji Trophy, the premier domestic tournament, and said the latter was a “poor cousin” of the former.

"“IPL dominates Ranji Trophy. Unless their match fees are increased substantially, it will be considered an orphan and poor cousin of Indian cricket.”" - Sunil Gavaskar, Former India Captain

“There is an agreement between the BCCI and the players about certain percentages; I think 26 percent of the BCCI revenues going to the players,” he said. “Thirteen percent as I remember goes to the international players and I think 10 percent goes to domestic cricket and one-and-a-half percent to junior cricket and another one-and-a-half percent to women’s cricket. So that has not really increased over the last few years.”

Gavaskar also added that he hoped salaries of uncapped domestic players are increased and urged BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to take a look into the matter.

“The Test players’ remuneration has increased, the Ranji players’ remuneration hasn't increased. Therefore this year I’m hoping Sourav Ganguly being the new president, he will look into it,” he said.

“The disparity that you see between the IPL players who don’t always play first-class cricket and those who play 80 days of cricket if you play all the matches and those who play 14 days of IPL cricket, there’s a big disparity. I’m only talking about the uncapped player. I’m not talking about the capped player. Hopefully that will be narrowed down as much as possible.”

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