Dear Tom Alter
I know that you are sulking with reasons best known to you. But let me clear some cobwebs of your brain.
You said that two players left series overseas and were branded as traitors but you didn’t tell that circumstances were different then. Dhoni didn’t leave the series, he retired when series was done and dusted with Australia taking invincible lead. Earlier instances of players leaving were may be of proving a point to others/selectors/captains whereas Dhoni did it to prolong his ODI career that he loves the most.
Your second point is “Mahendra Singh Dhoni chooses to exit before he is removed – and with arrogance, such blind faith in his image.” What you call as arrogance is matter of respectfully retiring which is not done by any Indian greats in last 25 years. But I guess you have blind faith in earlier pattern of dragging career till the time fans start to abuse and players are forced to retire. It is always said that a player should retire when people ask – why and not when. You seem to be a fan of when.
Your third point is about being bosses’ favourite and money. For your information he is people’s favourite first and has made his name long before his alleged proximity with Srinivasan. Let me ask you when Sachin retired last year did he break any contract? When Kumble retired middle of the series did he break any contract? I didn’t see any scathing comments from you then. Can I ask, why you were silent then? A player has his prerogative to decide when to retire. Of all things he has done, least he would bother to go and ask some Tom Alter to decide about his retirement timing. So please don’t suggest him when to retire and what to do.
And then you insinuate that one of the reasons Dhoni was at helm for long was because he is loved by corporate. FYI Kohli is equally loved by corporate. So would you say that he has been named Captain because of it? Answer for me is a big NO. They both got captaincy because of their leadership quality and great performances. You are free to believe otherwise.
Let me ask you when was the last time you watched cricket. You say that Dhoni had not played any competitive cricket for two months before the second Test, and we take him back as both captain and player. So by your logic Captain should be changed after every off-season of two months. I would really like to know from you that when did that happen in cricketing history. Answer would be never or may be once or twice in history. So why should that apply to Dhoni? Answer would be best known to you.
Equally laughable is your comment that now country has became all about image building and history doesn’t matter. Let me tell you some history that you chose to forgot. Dhoni won two World Cups, One Champions Trophy and made India No 1 side in Tests. Yes I know you would like to remind people of overseas loss. But let me enlighten you why India didn’t win matches overseas and why it may lose last one at Sydney too. Its because with such pathetic bowling line up even combined captaincy brain of Imran, Steve Waugh, and Ganguly would find it hard to win matches. If Dhoni was not good captain, he would not have won in India too.
It’s not Dhoni who broke the sacred bond but it’s you and other media persons who are trying to break bond between Indian cricket and its lovers by painting a very grim scenario just before the World Cup. Such a damming article without even thinking of how it affects players’ morale tell us how much you love Indian Cricket. In my opinion it is not Dhoni but you who should be banned from further writing on cricket.
Get well soon Tom, I still watch first interview of Sachin that you took and still love every moment of it.
From an Indian Cricket & Dhoni Fan
This article has also been published at sportskeeda here