Despite calling time on his international career, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's brand value won't see a dip, and his other commitments will keep him busy, said Arun Pandey, his close friend and business partner.
Although there were rumblings in the media over his retirement after the World Cup last year, the postponement of the T20 World Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted him to take the call, said Pandey.
Many fans were expecting a late flourish to his astounding international career but alas, that never happened.
In an interview with Moneycontrol, Pandey shares what lies ahead for the former India captain.Edited excerpts:
Q: What prompted him to announce retirement on the Independence Day?
A: Actually, when the T20 World Cup was postponed and the IPL (Indian Premier League) also got delayed, it (international cricket retirement) was playing on the back of his mind, and he realised that there was no point waiting further for it. So, he took the decision.
Q: Will he continue to play in the IPL?
A: Yes, he will continue to play in the IPL as long as his body permits.
Q: How will life change for Dhoni after retirement?
A: He will now get more time for himself and his family. He will also be spending more time with the defence services. He also has several commercial commitments. So, he has plenty of things to keep him occupied.
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Q: The aura of Dhoni can be defined as someone who does not follow a particular pattern. In this context, do you see him taking up a commentary or a coaching role in future?
A: As of now, he hasn’t thought about it, and it is too early to comment on it.
Q: What steps are you taking to ensure his brand value does not dip after retirement?
A: The companies which have endorsement deals with Dhoni have signed him because of the aura associated with Dhoni as a brand, not as a cricketer. Dhoni is a global brand, and the retirement announcement won’t affect his brand value. He has signed a dozen new brand endorsement deals despite not playing a single match in the past year. This shows the power of his brand value.
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Q: When can we expect to see a second part of the biopic?
A: We will plan something soon and will make an announcement when we have concrete details.
Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Dhoni and his approach to life?
A: Everyone has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and like everyone, Dhoni has also taken this time to take a pause and reflect on things. He has been able to spend time with his family members and take appropriate protection measures as he knows he still has a lot to offer in the IPL.