I quit captaincy because Virat Kohli needed time to groom World Cup team: MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni stood down as ODI and T20I captain in January 2017. @AFP

MS Dhoni has said that he quit India‘s ODI and T20I captaincy in early 2017 to allow the incumbent Virat Kohli  ample time to shape a squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Dhoni gave up the limited-overs captaincy in January 2017, just days before the start of a home series with England, having nine months earlier stated that he was determined to play until the World Cup in England. It marked the end of a tremendous leadership role, during which time Dhoni led India to the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy.

Speaking at an event in Ranchi on Thursday, Dhoni, 37, said of his decision to hand over the reins to Kohli: “I resigned from captaincy because I wanted the new captain to get enough time for preparing a team before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Selecting a strong team without giving the new captain appropriate time isn’t possible. I believe that I left the captaincy at the right time.”

Dhoni holds the record for most dismissals by an Indian in ODI cricket and T20I cricket, and is the most capped international play across formats ever. He remains an integral part of India’s ODI and T20I teams and will next be seen in action in October when India host West Indies.