Former Indian cricket captain and Lieutenant Colonel (Honourary) MS Dhoni will soon be joining the 106 TA Battalion Para, situated in the Kashmir Valley, as part of the Victor Force. Dhoni is expected to take up duties such as patrol, guard and post duty and will be put up with the troops in the valley. The army in a press statement, released the details of his 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 holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment (106 Para TA battalion).
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 aircrafts in the Agra training camp.
Earlier, the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman had made himself unavailable for the West Indies tour where India will be playing three T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches beginning August 3.
Ever since the culmination of World Cup in the UK where India reached the semi-finals, speculations have been rife about Dhoni's retirement, but the team management has asked him to hang around as they groom Rishabh Pant with an eye on the 2020 World T20 in Australia.
Incidentally, on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered a probe into the Amrapali real estate group, of which Dhoni was the brand ambassador, for overseas funds diversion. A report by forensic auditors reportedly stated that a part of these funds were paid to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited, a company allegedly promoted by Dhoni and his wife Sakshi between 2009 and 2015.
(With IANS input)