MS Dhoni and Nepal teammates © AFP
MS Dhoni and Nepal teammates © AFP

MS Dhoni who is currently enjoying his off time with family, is also keeping a close tab on the happenings of the cricket world. During the World Cup Qualifiers 2018, Nepal gained ODI status courtesy Netherlands victory over Hong Kong by 44 runs on Thursday. Nepal became the 27th country to be granted ODI status. Nepal have gradually been progressing in every tournament. They have already featured in World T20 Qualifiers in 2016 and 2016 T20 Asia Cup as well.

They had reached the Qualifiers after finishing off as the runners-up in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2. They toiled hard in every game during the Division 2 matches that has handed them an ODI status today. Dhoni, who has personally met the Nepal team few years ago, was delighted to hear the news and believes more such Associate Nations should come in fray and earn the ODI status.

In a chat with Hindustan Times, Dhoni congratulated Nepal: “It’s (ODI status) a result of their hard-work and sincere effort. I don’t think that participation of small teams will dilute the standard of cricket the world over.”

Dhoni’s thoughts on other Associate Nations and their progression: “To make cricket a global sport, I believe more and more such teams must come into fray, and it is good that Associate nations are trying to gain ICC’s ODI status. Consistency is important and that’s why teams like UAE after playing some good cricket for a good time period, lost their way.”