In a rare and heartwarming interaction, Indian cricket legend MS Dhoni recently opened up about his illustrious career, experiences growing up with cricket, his emotional farewell and even his thoughts on India’s chances in the ODI World Cup 2023.
Although Dhoni has consistently maintained a private persona and has avoided public appearances or speaking to the media, the enigmatic cricketer’s surprising decision to share some heartfelt anecdotes from his life and cricketing journey came during a recent event in Bengaluru.
MS Dhoni names Sachin Tendulkar as his biggest motivation to pursue cricket
During his interaction at the event, Dhoni took a trip down memory lane, recalling how he, like many aspiring cricketers, grew up watching the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Dhoni confessed that Sachin was his primary source of motivation during his formative years.
“Growing up, we really didn’t have many videos to watch. So, when we watched Sachin batting, we would think that we could bat like him, only to feel otherwise. He was motivation growing up. But when I started playing for India, the country became the biggest motivation. Though we lost quite a few matches, the motive was always to do well for the country,” recalled Dhoni.
Dhoni reveals the back story behind his retirement planning after NZ loss
Dhoni also opened up about the most heartbreaking moment of his career, the 2019 World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand, which marked the end of his illustrious international career. The veteran stumper revealed that although he announced his retirement a year later, he had made up his mind to retire right after that defeat but didn’t disclose it to anyone.
The former India captain further reminisced about wanting to return his training equipment to the trainers but being unsure about how to communicate his retirement decision.
“It gets difficult to control your emotions when you have lost a close game. And inside, I had made my entire planning. To me, that was the last day I played cricket for India. I took retirement a year later, but the fact is that that day I had retired. We cricketers are given certain machines and all of that. So every time I went to the trainer, I gave it back to him. He said, ‘No, you keep it.’ In my mind, I am like, ‘How do I tell him I won’t be needing or using it anymore.’ I didn’t want to announce it at that point in time,” revealed the Jharkhand-born cricketer.
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Dhoni on India’s World Cup 2023 chances
When asked about India’s chances in the 2023 World Cup, Dhoni expressed optimism and confidence in the current Indian team. He emphasized the team’s balance and the impressive performances of players, hinting that they are well-prepared for the tournament.
“Understand the feeling. It’s a very good team. There’s a good balance in the team. Every player is doing well. Everything is looking very good. So, I won’t say much about it now; the one who’s wise will grasp the hint provided,” reckoned Dhoni.
Dhoni drops a hint of a possible IPL 2024 return
Dhoni even hinted at his return to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. He shared that he is recovering well from a knee surgery he underwent earlier in the year and anticipates being fit shortly.
“The knee has survived the operation, going through the rehab phase. The doctor told me I would feel much better by November. But no problem in day-to-day routine,” remarked CSK skipper.