Chennai Super Kings have dismissed speculation regarding MS Dhoni's imminent exit from the Indian Premier League by confirming that the senior pro is expected to play until at least the 2022 IPL season.
Dhoni has not taken part in any competitive clash since India's World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand last year.
During this period, he had also taken a two-month sabbatical to serve with his paramilitary regiment while Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul have been preferred by the national selectors to don the wicketkeeper role in white-ball cricket.
With Dhoni finally set to end his long hiatus from cricket, CSK chief executive Kasi Viswanathan is confident that the 39-year-old would not be bowing out of the sport soon.
"We don't worry about him at all. Yes, we can expect M.S. Dhoni to be part of both [IPL seasons in 2020 and 2021] and probably for even the next year, 2022," Viswanathan told India Today.
Dhoni is the second-most successful captain in IPL history with three title wins, trailing behind Mumbai Indians' Rohit Sharma's tally of four IPL trophies.
He remains one of the most popular figures in Indian cricket but his recent performances in the international arena signify his waning batting prowess. Additionally, with age not on his side, Dhoni could face questions on his reflexes behind the stumps.
Viswanathan was quick to note that Dhoni had been putting in the hard yards in indoor nets to keep himself fit for the upcoming IPL tournament.
"But we don't have to worry about the skipper. He knows his responsibilities and he will take care of himself and the team," he said.
Dhoni is one of the several high-profile CSK players who will be engaged in the pre-season conditioning camp in the UAE. The IPL will start on September 19 in the Arab country after being forced to shift abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.