'We don't worry': IPL's Chennai expect Dhoni to play past 40

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Indian Premier League (IPL) favourites Chennai Super Kings expect former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to keep playing past his 40th birthday - until at least 2022, the team's chief executive said.

Dhoni has not played a competitive game since India's World Cup semi-final defeat last year, but is due to return to action when the delayed IPL begins in the United Arab Emirates next month.

While Dhoni is unlikely to play again for India, Chennai Super Kings chief executive Kasi Viswanathan said he was confident the legendary batsman-wicketkeeper would not be quitting soon.

"We don't worry about him at all. Yes, we can expect MS Dhoni to be part of both (IPL seasons in 2020 and 2021) and probably for even the next year, 2022," Viswanathan told India Today television late Tuesday.

Dhoni, who has led Chennai to three IPL titles, will celebrate his 40th birthday in July next year.

He remains an influential figure in Indian cricket with any hint of retirement causing concern among fans.

Viswanathan said he had only seen media reports that Dhoni has been training in indoor nets in his home state of Jharkhand.

"But we don't have to worry about the skipper," he said. "He knows his responsibilities and he will take care of himself and the team."

The players are due to arrive in Chennai this week before leaving next week for Dubai where the IPL will start on 19 September after being moved because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rajasthan Royals announced Wednesday that fielding coach Dishant Yagnik has become the IPL's first coronavirus case and will miss the team flight to UAE next week.

The team said Yagnik, a former Royals player, will have to undergo two weeks isolation, then pass two tests in India and three more in the UAE, as well as quarantine in Dubai, before he is allowed to rejoin the team.

Yagnik has not been in contact with Rajasthan players in the last 10 days, the team said.

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