MS Dhoni will act as team mentor for the Twenty20 World Cup starting next month. (Photo: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Eastern Eye Staff
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi has described Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the embodiment of a new India where family name does not make one’s destiny.
In a letter to the two-time World Cup-winning former India captain, who retired from international cricket last week, Modi said: “Rising from humble beginnings in a small town, you burst onto the national scene, made a name for yourself and most importantly, made India proud.”
Dhoni shared the letter on (20) in his first social media post since the “consider me retired” note on Instagram that had stunned fans on Saturday.
Modi said the “correct way to assess” Dhoni’s “impact is as a phenomenon”.
He said the cricketer’s rise and conduct “gives strength and inspiration to crores [millions] of youngsters who like you [Dhoni] haven’t been to cushy schools or colleges, neither do they belong to illustrious families but they have the talent to distinguish themselves at the highest level”.
“You have been one of the important illustrations of the spirit of new India, where family name does not make young people’s destiny but they make their own names and their own destinies,” Modi wrote.
“Where we come from does not matter as long as we know where we are headed — this is the spirit that you have exuded and inspired many youngsters with.”
An Artist,Soldier and Sportsperson what they crave for is appreciation, that their hard work and sacrifice is getting noticed and appreciated by everyone.thanks PM @narendramodi for your appreciation and good wishes. pic.twitter.com/T0naCT7mO7
Calling him one of the greatest captains and one of the best wicket-keepers the game had seen, Modi said Dhoni’s “dependability in tough situations” and “style of finishing matches, particularly the 2011 World Cup final, will forever be etched in the public memory for generations”.
He also praised ‘Captain Cool’ for being composed amid highs and lows of the game. “No matter what hairstyle you sported, your calm head remained the same in victory or defeat, which is very important for every youth,” Modi said.
Dhoni, who is also an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, thanked the prime minister for the “appreciation and good wishes”.
From humble beginnings in the state of Jharkhand, and working as railways ticket collector, Dhoni’s emergence as Indian cricket’s poster boy was the stuff of legend.
He amassed 17,000 international runs across formats, including 16 centuries, and more than 800 victims as wicket-keeper.