Describing Sachin Tendulkar as his role model, India ODI cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that iconic batsman's humility and passion for the game was an inspiration for him and others.
"When we were growing up, we used to watch Sachin (Tendulkar), he was like God to all of us. He had that aura around him," Dhoni said while interacting with the Indian diaspora during a reception organised in his honour in New Jersey by Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America.
Dhoni said Tendulkar is a "very good role model" since he's successful but at the same time humble.
Dhoni said when he started playing cricket, he saw "how he (Tendulkar) believed in the process."
"Every time he turned on the field, he wanted to improve as a cricketer. I felt he was an ideal person to look up to and that is what we did," said Dhoni, according to a brief video of the event posted on the web portal the American Bazaar.
Asked when he will return to the cricket field, Dhoni said October is the "earliest you will see me on the field."
Dhoni was accompanied by former Deputy Chief Minister of Jharkhand Sudesh Mahto at the event.
On the 2011 World Cup win, Dhoni said it was "really big not only for the team, but for the entire country."
Asked how he defines success, Dhoni said it is very important to be "practical and honest" in life.
"One of the most difficult things to control is a man's greed. There is no upper limit to greed. But at the same time, we should practically set a standard as to this is what I want to achieve," he said, adding that even though he is a "decent cricketer" he cannot hope to become "Usain Bolt", the fastest person in the world.
"Being practical in life and honest in life (is crucial)," he said.
"What is important is what you are doing today and tomorrow because those small steps will in turn help you achieve in life what you want to become. Small things matter more than the bigger goal. While it is very important to dream, it is also important to be in the present," said Dhoni.
During the reception, Dhoni was honoured with a resolution in his name that lauded him for his achievements in cricket.
Earlier on Sunday, Dhoni had made a rare public appearance in the US, attending puja at the Siddhivinayak Temple in Toms Rover.
Dhoni, accompanied by his wife Sakshi and former Deputy Chief Minister of Jharkhand Sudesh Kumar Mahto, performed puja at the temple, which is under construction and will open to the public later this year.
Dressed casually in jeans and t-shirt, Dhoni interacted briefly with the about 150 gathering of local residents who cheered their cricket hero and jostled to take selfies with him.
Interacting with the Indian diaspora, Dhoni called on them to keep supporting the team, which he said is going through a lot of changes and is a "good team".
"Keep supporting us. We have a good side, we have a good team. We are in a phase where we are going through a lot of changes but with all due support of yours we will keep doing well," Dhoni had said.
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