The South Eastern Railway served a very special passenger on Tuesday night when its former employee Mahendra Singh Dhoni preferred to travel by train with his Jharkhand one-day cricket team from Ranchi to Howrah to participate in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Kolkata.
Fifteen seats in AC-2 of Howrah-Hatia Kriyayoga Express had been reserved for the team. Amid heavy security, the state cricketers caught the train from Hatia station in Ranchi.
Dhoni, who will lead Jharkhand in domestic one-dayers for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, did not ask for any special service in his first train ride in more than 13 years.
“Dhoni has always inspired players of his home state. We are happy with Dhoni’s wish to play for the Jharkhand team. His active support will take the team Jharkhand to another level,” Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) president Kuldeep Singh told.
“We had a prior information about this and so we had arranged special security when they boarded in Ranchi last night and upon their arrival this morning in Howrah,” Ghosh said.
Before making the India team Dhoni was employed by SER as a TTE from September 2001 till July 2004 in Kharagpur, something that is well-documented in his biopic “MS Dhoni”, a blockbuster last year.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had played last a domestic game for his the state in 2007. His fans in Jharkhand were upset after his removal from captaincy of his IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants. Dhoni had stepped down as India’s limited-over captain at the start of 2017, ahead of the ODIs and T20s against England.
However, JSCA and members of Jharkhand cricket team are happy with Dhoni’s decision. “Jharkhand team is scaling a new heights for last few years under the guidance of Dhoni. We are expecting a remarkable performance in this tournament,” Singh said.
Jharkhand along with Chhattisgrah, Hyderabad, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Saurashtra and Services and Chattisgarh are placed in Group D in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Jharkhand’s first game is scheduled against Karnataka in Eden Garden, Kolkata on February 25.
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