World Cricket News

Shikhar Dhawan wins hearts with terrific message for Team India ahead of 2023 World Cup opener vs Australia

Shikhar Dhawan is currently out of contention for international spots in all three formats.

Team India will begin its campaign in the 2023 World Cup against Australia on October 8; the Rohit Sharma-led side is among the favourites to lift the title at home. With some of the star names in the Indian squad Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, and the captain himself among others, India are primed to end a 10-year ICC title drought. However, one of the big stars who will be absent from this year’s edition of the ODI World Cup is Shikhar Dhawan; the veteran opener had lost his place in the side last year, with Shubman replacing the left-hander.

Dhawan has not made an appearance for India in any format this year. Although there were expectations of his return to the squad for the Asian Games, the BCCI entrusted Ruturaj Gaikwad with the leadership role. Remarkably, despite his extended absence from the team, Dhawan has maintained a positive and cheerful demeanor in public. On Thursday, the opener also expressed his warm wishes to the Indian team as they begin their journey in the World Cup through his official X account.

“Chak De India! 🇮🇳 Let’s paint the world blue, boys! All the best on your World Cup journey. Bring that trophy home! #TeamIndia #WorldCup2023,” Dhawan wrote.

Dhawan had been a key member of India’s last two World Cup campaigns, and his unfortunate injury mid-way through the 2019 edition proved to be a massive setback for the side as it faced a semi-final defeat to New Zealand.

Dhawan has represented India in 167 ODIs so far; prior to his ouster from the ODI format, Dhawan was already out-of-contention for spots in T20Is and Tests. His last T20I appearance came in July 2021 against Sri Lanka, while his last game in the longest format of the game was over five years ago against England.

Shikhar Dhawan’s struggles in personal life

Shikhar Dhawan wins hearts with terrific message

Also Read: ICC names Sachin Tendulkar as ‘Global Ambassador’ for ODI World Cup

Apart from his absence from the Indian team, Dhawan had also been facing personal issues related to his estranged wife, Ayesha. On Wednesday, a Delhi family court granted Dhawan’s request for a divorce from his estranged wife, citing cruelty as the grounds for the decree.

“Respondent’s/ estranged wife intentional decision to leave this matter uncontested also shows her desire that the court should pass decree of divorce even at the cost of holding her guilty of the matrimonial offence as she knows that no harm could be caused to her even if she is held to have treated the petitioner with cruelty because she has already obtained sufficient favourable orders from the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Australia,” the court said.

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