Lt. Col Dhoni Returns After 2-Week Army Stint: Here's Everything He Did In J&K
ET Online and Agencies|
Former Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, was spotted back in Delhi on Saturday after he joined the Army troops in the militancy-infested south Kashmir region on July 30 to carry out patrolling, guard duties and similar responsibilities just like other soldiers.
The Chennai Super Kings captain was clicked with his daughter Ziva (left). The 38-year-old cricketer spent quality time with his daughter as well before leaving for Army duty last month.
On National Duty
The former cricket team captain stayed with his 106 TA Battalion (Para) till August 15, and undertook duties with the troops.
Soon after he left for Srinagar from Delhi airport on July 30, his pictures donning the army outfit and performing his daily tasks went viral on social media.
Saluting India's Braveheart
The World Cup winning captain's two-week stint with his unit was approved by the Army headquarters in July on Dhoni's request. Lt Col Dhoni's unit was deployed in the militancy-infested south Kashmir region as part of Victor Force.
Amid retirement speculations, Dhoni told Board of Control for Cricket in India that he needed a two-month sabbatical from the game to serve his parachute regiment. While he ruled out immediate retirement, he made himself "unavailable" for the West Indies tour, starting on August 3, a day before the selectors met in Mumbai to pick the squads.
Dhoni was seen signing a cricket bat during his his stint in Srinagar.
Dhoni was accorded the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2011. He is also a qualified paratrooper after having completed five parachute training jumps.
The wicket-keeper-batsman has been conferred the Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian award, by President Ramnath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Various photos have surfaced on social media where the cricketer was seen interacting with people from the armed forces, playing cricket and volleyball with members of his Territorial Army battalion, and even humming a few lines of the song 'Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shaayar Hoon' from Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 1976 movie 'Kabhi Kabhie'.
In 2015, he became a qualified paratrooper after having completed five parachute training jumps from Indian Army aircrafts in the Agra training camp.
The Territorial Army is a part of the Army. Its role is to relieve the regular Army from static duties and assist civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services.
Celebrating Independent India
Dhoni was in Ladakh to celebrate India's 73rd Independence Day with the masses of the newly formed union territory. He received a warm reception from the Army personnel (right), and also visited the staff and patients at Army General Hospital (left).
(All images from PTI, Twitter/@msdfansofficial, Twitter/@ChennaiIPL & Instagram/@ziva_singh_dhoni)