The entire Indian team that won the recently concluded T20 series against England by 2-1 presented MS Dhoni with an innovative wooden plague prior to the contest to serve as a memento for his services to the sport and for being a continuous source of inspiration to the Indian team. The wooden plaque has four ‘Silver Stars’ embossed on it to highlight his four biggest milestones as captain of India – 2007 World T20 Champions, becoming No. 1 in Test cricket in 2009, 2011 World Cup champions and 2013 Champions Trophy Champions.
The little private programme, including players, support staff and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad, happened at the team hotel and the cricketers also gave him a ‘Thank You’ note. The note read: “Inspirational, Captain-par-Excellence, Thank You, – Indian Cricket Team”.
With Dhoni not playing Test cricket and stepping down as captain from limited overs cricket prior to the England series, the entire onus of leading the Indian cricket team has fallen on Virat Kohli and he’s had a winning run so far. In Tests, Kohli has won series against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand and England. Now with wins against England in ODIs and T20s, Kohli is off to a smashing start in the limited over game too.
During the ceremony to present the memento to Dhoni, coach Anil Kumble said, “On behalf of all the ten years that MS had led various teams. From all the players, support staff and obviously this group of players that is sitting here and support staff. Congratulations on being the inspiration leader that you’ve always been, for all the achievements you’ve had as captain of India and for many more years in this captain.”
“But for all the contributions you’ve made, we’d like to honour you with something that you would cherish and something that would be a nice frame in your house. So on behalf of the entire team…,” he would add before Kohli would step up and present the plaque.
Dhoni is next expected to play only in the Champions Trophy during India colours but one is likely to see him lead Rising Pune Supergiants during the Indian Premier League before it.