Kalyani, Feb. 28: Life came to a full circle for Mahendra Singh Dhoni today when he played a Vijay Hazare trophy match in Kalyani for his home state Jharkhand against Services. In an apparent transition of sort, the former Indian skipper today took on the ground in Kalyani in Nadia, in a reminiscence of his school life, the DAV Jawhar Vidya Mandir ground from where he started impressing the cricket
Today as news of Dhoni’s arrival in this small sub divisional town spread, all roads literally led to the Bengal Cricket Academy ground where thousands of young cricket enthusiasts mostly students gathered since early in the morning to have a glimpse of him and to see him in action. While only about few hundreds were lucky to enter the ground having free pass distributed by the local Municipality, thousands others waited outside and sometimes desperately scaled the boundary wall to peep over to watch MSD in action.
Attendance in the schools and educational institutions in the town and adjancent areas were surprisingly low as the students thronged at the garden. Teachers of the Kalyani University Experimental Academy, located adjacent to the ground found it tough to keep the students in the classroom as they were crazy shouting ‘Dhoni…Dhoni” going over the school’s roof top.
Jharkhand won the match, but the young cheering crowd went back disappointed as Dhoni did not get a chance to bat. The disappointment of a section of crowd was as obvious as they at a time raised slogan against Jharkhand batsmen Sourav Tiwari and Ishank Jaggi who made tons in the match.
Shamik Dhar, a management student who was lucky enough to enter inside the ground said: “I became excited to see Dhoni today. I have seen him playing on television earlier. But watching him playing in my small hometown like Kalyani is a different experience. I know that Dhoni grown up from a small township Shyamali in Ranchi. Today it appeared that he came back to his early life playing a match like a common player with other team mates in a small town ground where he once used to play many matches. It is a great experience to see a player like Dhoni playing with budding junior players, making gestures and advicing them as a their mentor at the same time”.
Rizwan Khan, an M Sc, who skipped his classes in Dumdum to watch MSD said: “Today I missed the Helicopter shot innovated by him. But the way he played the match today encouraging the young team mates is a lesson to learn. He appeared to be a person close to earth who never bother even to travel in an ordinary class in train with the junior players”.
One of the residential staff at BCA, who were in charge of hospitality with visiting teams said: “I was moved to see Dhoni ji taking care of every players in all affairs and at the same time was quite humble to get the best service from us. He appeared to be a guiding spirit without any prejudice boast of his position”.
Banani Mridha, a teacher of Kalyani University Experimental Academy said: “As a teacher I feel Dhoni is a pioneer and an icon who is still the face of the small towns of India. Today it appeared to me that being in fame for over years, he has not forgotten his past. It is his values of life that he earned in childhood that eventually brought back today to play a match in a small town like Kalyani where so far few small Ranji trophy matches were played”
Dhoni’s team mate Sourav Tiwari, who scored an unbeaten century today, was identical to identify their “Mahi Bhaiya”. He said: “Having him in the team is an experience of learning. He used to advise to become a good finisher. He says make a life like you build an innings and grow over it to finish the match to be a successful person. Today also I also followed him and get a hug from him after I and Ishank returned finishing them match as winner.
“Today I even did not mind as his fans were shouting slogans against me because I think I succeed despite the immense pressure of the crowd for his lesson who were eagerly waiting to see him batting. Hope THEY Will be satisfied when we again visit the town on March 6 to play against Jammu and Kashmir”, Tiwari added.