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Sunday, 14 October 2018


Dhoni not playing for Jharkhand in Vijay Hazare knockouts

M.S. Dhoni will not take part in Jharkhand's knockout matches for the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018-19.

Jharkhand will play their quarter-final against Maharashtra at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday, and Dhoni wasn't present at the first nets the team had, at the adjoining NCA ground, on Saturday. Team members on Saturday mentioned that they weren't expecting Dhoni to join the squad.

Jharkhand coach Rajiv Kumar said that he had not received any official word about Dhoni joining, but in his opinion, Dhoni wouldn't have wanted to disturb the team's combination, especially since he would have been able to play only one match.

Jharkhand topped Group C with 32 points from nine matches, to qualify.

The semi-finals are scheduled for October 17 and 18, meaning Dhoni would not have been able to take part even if Jharkhand win their match against Maharashtra.

It is understood that Dhoni linking up with the Jharkhand team in Chennai was spoken of before he left for the Asia Cup. The Asia Cup concluded on September 28, with India beating Bangladesh in the final. Jharkhand had four league games remaining in Group C after that, with the first one on October 1. They won three of the games, with one abandoned without a ball bowled. Dhoni, however, eventually didn't join the team.

Dhoni's last first-class match was in the Irani Trophy over a decade ago, while his last List-A game for Jharkhand was in the 2017-18 Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-final against Bengal.

However, while Dhoni has decided to stay away, Rohit Sharma will be part of the Mumbai XI that takes on Bihar in the first quarter-final on Sunday.

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