Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, on Wednesday, amid a lot of fan frenzy inaugurated India’s first MS Dhoni Residential Cricket Academy at Gaikwad-Patil International School situated at Wardha Road in Nagpur. The academy has been launched in collaboration with SGR Sports Academy and in association with Aarka Sports. The academy was launched by Dhoni in presence of his fans, Mangesh Raut (Co-founder and MD, SGR Sports), Mihir Diwakar (Managing Director, Aarka Sports), Mohan Gaikwad (Chairman, Gaikwad-Patil group) and other important guests.
MS Dhoni arrived in Nagpur on Tuesday evening and headed to Gaikwad-Patil International School on Wednesday morning to inaugurate his academy. As soon as he arrived at the venue, Dhoni’s fans, who had gathered at the school premises in huge numbers, took out their mobile phones to click pictures of their favourite cricketer. As the paparazzi tried capturing Dhoni in the frame, an array of guards led Dhoni inside the school premises, where Dhoni was welcomed by little kids with loud chants of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni, Dhoni…’ After taking a tour of the school premises, Dhoni made his way to an open area to formally launch the academy and interact with his fans.
At the interaction, which was hosted by Shweta Shelgaonkar, Dhoni was welcomed with a lot of noise and a huge round of applause by his fans. Once, Mangesh Raut, Mihir Diwakar and Mohan Gaikwad spoke about the academy in brief, MS Dhoni took the microphone in his hands to interact with fans. Dhoni showed why he is adored by his fans as before speaking anything about the academy, he expressed concern for the little kids present at the venue. He requested everybody to not create any chaos while leaving the venue after the function as that could hurt the kids. Needless to say, this gesture by ‘captain cool,’ as the former Indian Cricket captain is fondly called by his fans, won hearts and a huge applause!
While speaking about his academy, Dhoni shared that he has been to Nagpur quite a few times not only to play international games but also Ranji matches during the initial days of his career. He also informed that he wishes to keep coming back to Nagpur now to share his experiences and expertise with students at the academy.
After his address about the academy, MS Dhoni took some questions from his fans and students at the academy. Responding to the questions, exactly the same way he answers questions during the post-match press conferences, Dhoni spoke about the time when he promoted himself up the batting order during the ICC World Cup 2011 final against Sri Lanka. Saying that there’s a lot of thinking, which goes into taking a decision, Dhoni said that he had played the Sri Lankan bowlers like Muralitharan in the nets a lot of times while playing for Chennai Super Kings and that’s why he thought he could read the bowlers a bit better. When asked as to why he gave the last over to bowler Joginder Sharma during the final match of T20 World Cup against Pakistan in 2007, Dhoni simply asked, “Which other bowlers could I give the over to?” When a budding cricketer asked Dhoni about tips for a wicket-keeper, Dhoni revealed as to how a wicket-keeper plays a crucial role and is actually the unsaid vice-captain during the match! By responding to questions in the most calm and cool manner possible during the interaction, MS Dhoni proved that he’s not just the best finisher on the field but off the field too!
Here are some pictures from MS Dhoni’s day out at Gaikwad-Patil International School in Nagpur!