Currently on a sabbatical after opting out of India’s upcoming tour of West Indies, MS Dhoni has finally begun his two-month training with Indian Army’s – Parachute Regiment. The former India skipper joined the battalion on Wednesday, which has its headquarters in Bengaluru. While confirming about the development, a source said the plan was in pipeline for a while and is now being formulated.
“Just like Dhoni has been one of the greatest servants of Indian cricket, his love for the armed forces is also a well-documented fact. This idea that he would go and spend time with his regiment was in the pipeline for a while but it took a backseat due to his cricketing commitments”.
“This move by Dhoni will also help in increasing the awareness among the youth about the armed forces and that is what Dhoni wants,” the source said.
The 38-year-old holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment (106 Para TA battalion).
The honour was accorded to him by the Indian Army in 2011. Dhoni was given this honour along with Abhinav Bindra and Deepak Rao.
In 2015, the Ranchi lad became a qualified paratrooper after having completed five parachute training jumps from Indian Army aircraft in the Agra training camp.
Earlier, Dhoni had made himself unavailable for the West Indies tour where India will be playing three T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches beginning August 3.
Ever since the culmination of World Cup in the UK where India reached the semi-finals, speculations have been rife about Dhoni’s retirement, but the team management has asked him to hang around as they groom Rishabh Pant with an eye on the 2020 World T20 in Australia.