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Monday, 17 August 2020

Local cricketing fraternity remembers ‘captain cool’

Deepankar Sharda

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16

After former Indian cricket team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement yesterday, the local cricketing fraternity went down memory lane and recalled a few moments with the "captain cool".

Only a few are aware that Dhoni played a Ranji Trophy match at the Sector 16 stadium. He was representing Jharkhand against hosts Haryana in 2005. The Jharkhand lad caught the eyes of many by scoring 109 off 75 balls. His innings included 13 boundaries and six sixes.

Two players, including Joginder Sharma, fell prey to his stumping. The match ended in a draw, but a fine performance by Dhoni helped him bag a TV set as the Man of the Match award.

"Dhoni outshone all in this match. Jharkhand was bundled out for 308 in reply to Haryana's first innings total of 453. He came four down, when the team was struggling at 53/4. This was for the first time that the local fraternity saw him playing. Later, everyone went to meet him at a hotel in Sector 35," said Surinder Singh 'Baijee', former general secretary of the Haryana Cricket Association.

PMS Banga, member executive of the Punjab Cricket Association, who was the local manager of the Indian cricket team for years, also remembers Dhoni as the calmest cricketer in the Indian history.

Dhoni's fan gets emotional

Dhoni's retirement has made his die-hard fan Ram Babu emotional, sad and happy all at the same time.

"Emotional because when you follow a player for 15 years, there is a certain attachment with him and sad because we will not be able to see him playing international cricket again. I feel happy because he achieved so much for Indian cricket," said Babu.

"He is the only captain to win all main ICC trophies and what else a fan can expect from a player," said Babu, a Phase V resident.

He made his identity bare-chested with 'Dhoni 7' (jersey number) written on the front and Tricolour painted on the back. Last Diwali, Babu met Dhoni at his hometown in Ranchi during the third match of the India-South Africa test series.

(By Gaurav Kanthwal)

from The Tribune

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