Happy Birthday, MS Dhoni!
Fans have often praised birthday boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his patriotic gesture on the field and off it. Rightly so, the veteran cricketer has always produced some priceless moments which reflect the fact that he holds his country dear and respects his motherland like no other cricketer.
On his 38th birthday, we get to you five such incidents where the wicket-keeper batsmen held his country above everything and won everyone’s heart with his patriotic gestures.
1. Balidan badge in his wicket-keeping gloves
In India’s first match of ICC World Cup 2019, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was seen sporting a regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicketkeeping gloves. The cricketer earned the dagger when he officially became honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army (TA). Also, there is a scroll superimposed on the dagger with “Balidan” written in Devanagari script.
However, he was asked to remove the badge from his gloves as, according to ICC, a cricketer cannot wear any political symbols or message in his playing kit. But the former Indian captain’s gesture won the hearts of millions of fans across the world and everyone praised him for showing respect to the Indian armed forces.
2. Removed Indian flag from his helmet
It intrigued the interest of fans as to why Dhoni doesn’t sport an Indian flag on his helmet. While every Indian cricketer has a small sticker of the tri-colour on their helmet, the wicket-keeper has never been seen with a tri-colour on his helmet.
The reason, however, was revealed later. A national flag is a great symbol of respect and honour and Indian law states that it can’t be put on the ground. But a wicket-keeper, playing cricket, often needs to keep his helmet on the ground when he/she is not wearing during his work behind the stumps. For instance, a wicket-keeper only wears the helmet while he is keeping for a spinner. So. Dhoni, as a sign of respect towards the tri-colour, removed the flag from his helmet.
3. Saved an Indian flag from dropping into the ground
During the final match of India’s 3-match T20 series in New Zealand in February this year, an Indian fan breached security and ran inside the ground with the Indian flag. The delighted fan ran towards the legendary cricketer and bent down to touch his feet.
While trying to take blessings from him, the fan kept the flag aside on the ground. But Dhoni being Dhoni, took up the flag from the ground before trying to calm the fan. This gesture again won the hearts of cricket fans and the visuals of the entire incident went viral on social media.
4. Jumped from 15000 feet
As a part of his training for the elite Para regiment of Indian Army, Mahendra Singh Dhoni jumped off an aircraft from 15,000 feet above the ground in 2015. To qualify the coveted force, the cricketer had to make several such jumps and he did all of them to perfection.
Also, to mention, such was the bravery that he did not shy away from jumping off the same height at night also, which is also a requirement in this training. Dhoni had said that he had the choice of joining other regiments also but he chose the elite Para regiment to work for his country to a greater extent.