MS Dhoni’s love and dedication towards the Indian Army is a widely known fact. Dhoni has mentioned on multiple occasions on public platforms that he would like to spend a lot more time with the Territorial Army once he draws curtains on his career.
In fact, MS Dhoni, who holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army, had trained with the Parachute Regiment for more than a month after the 2019 semi-final defeat.
And, now that he has indeed called time on his career, the three-time ICC Trophy winner’s friend and business partner Arun Pandey thinks that he is going to do exactly the same. With the T20 World Cup getting postponed, Pandey saw the retirement announcement coming. But, even he didn’t know that MS Dhoni will choose Independence Day [15 August] to announce it.
“I was aware that he would do it soon but did not know the exact timing. Anyway it was for him to decide. He had started IPL preparations but it was postponed and then the T20 World Cup was postponed, he thought to be mentally free,” Pandey told PTI.
“And since August 15 is a special day for the Army, he must have thought on those lines. The T20 World Cup postponement was surely a factor as he planned for it. One thing is for sure, he will be spending more time with the Army. He will also give time to his commercial ventures and other commitments. We will sit down soon and decide the way forward.” he added.
‘MS Dhoni is not just about cricket, he’s a youth icon’- Arun Pandey
Normally, an athlete’s market value tends to plummet after his/her retirement. But Pandey insists that it won’t happen with Dhoni as the former Indian captain is not just about cricket, he is a true youth icon and a folk hero. He also reckoned that MS Dhoni will play at least two more seasons of the IPL, adding that now that Dhoni has announced his retirement, he will play a lot freely in the upcoming edition.
“Since the World Cup (in July 2019), we have signed up with 10 new brands and it is a long-term thing. It will keep on increasing as Dhoni is not just about cricket, he is a youth icon.”In most cases retirement does have an impact but not when it comes to Dhoni. His achievements are not individual, his achievements are for the team and for the coutnry,” said Pandey.
“He will play for at least couple of years, if not more. He will be more mentally free now that he is retired. The T20 World Cup postponement was definitely a factor in his retirement.”The mega event, which was to take place in Australia in October-November, was moved to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. India have the hosting rights for the 2021 edition,” he added.