Ace Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who made himself unavailable for the West Indies tour of India, will be assuming the patrolling and guard duties along with the troops of 106 TA Battalion Para, placed in the Kashmir Valley, as part of the Victor Force.
— HT Sports (@HTSportsNews) July 25, 2019
The former Indian cricket captain, who is also affectionately referred to as ‘Captain Cool’ had skipped West Indies tour and expressed his desire to join his regiment. In a press statement, the army released the details of his deputation and also claimed that the cricketer specifically requested to be stationed along with the troops. Dhoni is going to be in Kashmir for 15 days, between July 31 and August 15.
Dhoni’s love for armed forces is well known and according to the sources, the plan of Dhoni serving with his unit of Territorial Army was in pipeline for a long duration due to the former captain’s cricketing commitments. “Dhoni wants to create awareness about India’s armed forces among people and that is the reason for his continued association with the army,” the source said.
The world cup winning former cricket captain 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. He is also a qualified paratrooper, he had completed parachute training jumps from Indian Army aircraft at the Agra training camp.
During the opening match of the World Cup, Dhoni was seen wearing green wicket-keeping gloves with the Balidan Badge on it, which is the dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces. He had flaunted the badge as a mark of respect for armed forces. But he had to remove it in the subsequent matches after ICC asked him to remove it, saying it violates ICC rules.
MS Dhoni has been facing severe criticism for his approach in the middle order and gifting away runs as a keeper. He conceded most runs as a wicket-keeper in World Cup 2019, and his strike rate has been at worse in the last three years. Despite the average performance, Dhoni had made it clear that he is not sure when will he retire from International cricket.