The retirement of former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni from international cricket earlier this month came as a shock for most fans and even fellow players.
Many have since talked about how Dhoni was a strong influence in their lives. Now, India batsman and Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul has said that Dhoni was a hero for people like him who came from a small town.
In a video shared by Indian Premier League side’s official Twitter handle, KL Rahul said that Dhoni's retirement was an emotional moment for the whole country and for world cricket.
“We have all grown up wanting to be MS Dhoni and especially for someone like me who comes from a small town, he was our hero. We always told our families that look it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can always go and try and achieve your dreams and play for your country and serve for the country,” he said.
Rahul added that he will just give Dhoni a big, long hug and say thank you and probably ask him to go easy on Kings XI this time.
KL Rahul, Dhoni and the squads of other IPL teams are currently in the UAE where the league will start on 19 September.
KL Rahul made his debut in international cricket in December 2014 against Australia in the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne. Incidentally, that was Dhoni’s last Test. Rahul has played for Team India under Dhoni's leadership in ODIs and T20Is.
Dhoni has led India to victory in three ICC events – the 2007 World T20, 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. He also captained the team to the No 1 position in Tests. Dhoni will be seen leading Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2020.
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IPL matches will be played at Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi with limited seating available keeping in mind the COVID protocols and UAE government regulations
The date of release for the Sourav Ganguly biopic has still not been revealed.
The 40-year-old Dhoni retired from international cricket last year, his last India game being the 2019 World Cup semi-final, which the team lost to New Zealand.