Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had ambitions of becoming an armyman, but destiny had other plans.
Dhoni, who has been made an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, spent a day with the jawans of the Parachute Regiment in Ranchi.
Dhoni revealed his love for the uniform. “Since childhood, I wanted to join the Army. I used to visit the cantonment area and seeing the soldiers I used to think that one day I will also be among them,” Dhoni said.
He was full of praise for the soldiers and acknowledged the vital role they play.
“I wanted to serve the country. When I got the opportunity to spend some time with the soldiers, I agreed immediately,” Dhoni said.
Always a keen learner, Dhoni also gained some knowledge about military preparedness.
Known for his fondness for shooting, he did not let the opportunity go as he went to the range and tested his aim. Dhoni, who has led India to both the T20 and the 50-over World Cup triumphs, as also the ICC Champions Trophy and the No. 1 rank in Test cricket, said the uniform helped him overcome fear when he had to jump from a height.
“The uniform is something special. Maybe, it is the effect of the uniform that I was not afraid,” he said.
He then shared some lighter moments with the jawans, sang a song, and responded to their queries.The jawans too were overjoyed as they met the sporting hero and did not shy away from asking questions.
When one jawan asked how he always remained cool under pressure, he said in a jest: “Whenever I have to address a press conference, I go and sit in the refrigerator,” said Dhoni, who is currently leading the Chennai Super Kings team in the Champions League T20 tournament.
The India skipper got emotional while meeting the widows and children of some of the jawans. He posed with them and gave autographs.
Also See: Cricketers In Uniform