#MS Dhoni dominated the Twitter trends for a majority of last week, after the veteran wicket-keeper batsman being omitted from the BCCI central contract list. Dhoni last represented India in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup, and ever since has been off the radar in the cricketing fraternity.

While the Ranchi born cricketer has not spoken yet about ending his career, not being handed a central BCCI contract has opened up rumours of his retirement once again. Dhoni’s Indian career might have hit a brick wall, but his career in the Indian T20 league with the Chennai franchise seems to be as steady as ever.

"People keep saying when will he... how long will he play, etc. He will play. I can assure you. He will play this year. Next year he will go (to) the auction; he will be retained. So there is no doubt in anybody's mind," managing director of India cements- the owners of team Chennai- N Srinivasan said at an entrepreneurship event on Saturday.

Read: An ode to MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni was picked by the Chennai franchise in the very first season of the Indian T20 League, back in 2008. Ever since he has been the captain of the franchise and helped them win the title three times- in 2010, 2011 and 2018. The 38-year-old was also the Indian captain back in 2007 when they won the inaugural T20 World Cup by beating Pakistan in the final.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was retained by the Chennai franchise for the 2020 Indian T20 league season, but come 2021 there were doubts on whether he will be retained as there are limited players that can be retained for those auctions.

Srinivasan’s statement however comes as a welcome respite for most Chennai fans, who are most likely to see Dhoni continue to lead their franchise. "We are pretty sure that MS will be retained. There is no CSK without Dhoni. We won't let him go into the auction pool," Chennai fans association vice-president ARR Sriram was quoted saying.

MS Dhoni has so far played 98 T20 Internationals for India, and has 1617 runs at an average of 37.6. He also has played 158 T20s for the Chennai franchise, and has 19 half centuries for his team.

Feature image: AFP/ Arun Sankar