Amid all the talks of his retirement, former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday made himself “unavailable” for the Indian team’s tour of West Indies as speculations raged about his future. He will instead be serving his regiment. There was a lot of anticipation about Dhoni and his availability for the West Indies tour, but it seems he is not going to travel to the Caribbean.

An Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army, it is learned that Dhoni will be spending the better part of the next two months with his regiment. During the recently concluded World Cup as well, Dhoni was spotted sporting the Balidaan badge which created a huge controversy. It is no secret that Dhoni has a lot of love and respect for the Indian army.

A top BCCI official confirmed the development.

“Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the tour of West Indies as he will be spending two months with his paramilitary regiment,” the official told PTI.

Dhoni, 38, has intimated his decision to the BCCI prior to the selection committee meeting on Sunday.

With Dhoni pulling out of the tour, Rishabh Pant is expected to be first wicketkeeper in all three formats while Wriddhiman Saha will be Pant’s understudy in the Tests.

Speaking of his retirement, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s childhood friend, Arun Pandey, said that the cricketer has no immediate plans to retire from international cricket. Brushing aside all the rumours Singh said, on Thursday, “He has no immediate plans to retire. The constant speculation over the future of a great player like him is unfortunate.”

What all of this does is, it snowballs the mystery surrounding the celebrated former India skipper. Dhoni has been one of the most successful captains to have led India and hence fans are getting emotional.

(With PTI inputs)