'Dhoni has no immediate plans to retire'

MSD's long-time friend Arun Pandey made the comment

dhoni-run-out-ap Dhoni reacts as he leaves the field after being dismissed during the World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand at Old Trafford in Manchester | AP

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has no immediate plans to retire despite the intense speculation surrounding his future, his long-time friend and business partner Arun Pandey said on Friday.

Speculations over Dhoni's future intensified ever since India lost their big-ticket World Cup semifinal against New Zealand earlier this month.

"He has no immediate plans to retire. The constant speculation over the future of a great player like him is unfortunate," Pandey said.

Pandey's comments came ahead of Sunday's team selection for the West Indies tour. The picture on Dhoni's plans will be clearer once the squad is picked for the tour beginning August 3.

BCCI officials are expected to speak to the two-time World Cup-winning captain.

Pandey has been associated with Dhoni for a long time and also handles his business interest besides heading Rhiti Sports, a sports management company.

With the selectors looking at the future following the World Cup, the 38-year-old may not be an automatic pick in the team, especially with his waning batting abilities.

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Dhoni has captained India to titles in all major ICC events—World Cup, World T20 and Champions Trophy.

His last international innings of 50 off 72 balls ended in heartbreak for the entire nation as he was run out with a brilliant direct hit from the deep by New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, effectively ending India's hopes in the knockout game.

Ravindra Jadeja, with support from Dhoni, had brought back India into the game with a 116-run stand after they were reeling at 24 for four chasing 240.

Dhoni has represented India in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20 Internationals. He has amassed 10,773 ODI runs at an average of over 50 while in Test cricket, Dhoni accumulated 4,876 runs at 38.09.