Tired Dhoni opts out of Sri Lanka Tests

MUMBAI, July 8, 2008 (AFP) – India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the rare step of pulling out of a Test tour because of fatigue on Tuesday, saying he wanted to miss the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. The wicketkeeper-batsman told officials he was not available for the three Tests starting in Colombo on July 23, but would be open for selection for the subsequent five-match one-day series.

“Dhoni has informed us he is tired and wants to sit out of the Sri Lanka Test series,” Indian cricket board chief administrative official Ratnakar Shetty told reporters here.

“We respect his decision and encourage players to opt out if they are tired because of the non-stop cricket these days.”

The selectors will meet later on Tuesday to pick the Test squad for their first full tour of Sri Lanka since 2001.

While Anil Kumble captains India in Tests, Dhoni, who turned 27 on Monday, is the limited-overs skipper and has been a regular in the national side in all three forms of the game.

Since January 2007, Dhoni has played 14 Tests, 56 one-day internationals and nine Twenty20 matches across the world as well as taking part in a domestic competition earlier this year.

The supremely-fit Dhon