However, at a time when everyone was talking about Dhoni, the man himself didn't pay any heed and was seen practicing with the Jharkhand Ranji players in Ranchi's JSCA Sports Complex.
Talking to , Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Vice President Ajay Shahdeo said: "Yes, Dhoni is back in Ranchi and he practiced at the nets with the Ranji players. Not only at the nets, but he also hit the gym as he has been always focussing on his fitness. Even when he doesn't practice, coming to the gym here is a regular affair for Dhoni."
When asked whether Dhoni will feature for the state in their upcoming Ranji clash against Uttarakhand starting January 19 in Ranchi, he said: "We don't have any idea whether he will play."
Sources in JSCA also told that Dhoni not only faced the bowlers, but also asked for a bowling machine to practice with and was seen testing his skills with the bat for a long time at a practice pitch he had himself inaugurated last year.
Earlier on Thursday, the BCCI announced the men's contracts for 2019-20 and the major omission was Dhoni.
The 38-year-old has been on a break from the game since India's World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand last year.
( With inputs from IANS )