MS Dhoni will soon be joining the 106 TA Battalion Para, situated in the Kashmir Valley, as part of the Victor Force. Dhoni will be taking on the duties of patrolling, guard and would be staying with troops in the valley.
The Indian Army in a press statement released the details of Dhoni’s deputation and also said that the cricketer specifically requested to be stationed along with the troops. Dhoni will be in Kashmir for 15 days, between July 31 and August 15.
Speaking to news agency IANS, sources in the know of the developments said the plan was in the pipeline for a while.
“Just like Dhoni has been one of the greatest names of Indian cricket, his love for the armed forces is also well known. This idea that he would go and spend time with his regiment was in the pipeline for a while but it took a backseat due to his cricketing commitments.
“This will also help increase awareness among the youth about the armed forces and that is what Dhoni wants,” the source said.
The 38-year-old Dhoni holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment.
The honour was accorded to him by the Indian Army in 2011. Dhoni was given this honour along with Abhinav Bindra and Deepak Rao.
In 2015, the Ranchi lad became a qualified paratrooper after having completed five parachute training jumps from Indian Army aircraft in the Agra training camp. When he had been given the honorary rank in 2011, Dhoni had said, “Since childhood, I had wanted to join the Army. I used to visit the cantonment area and seeing the soldiers I used to think that one day I will also be among them.”
Meanwhile, the veteran stumper had made himself unavailable for the West Indies tour where Team India will be playing three T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches beginning August 3.