After a long and illustrious career in the Indian Cricket team, former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have plans to join the political train after retirement. Senior BJP leader and Ex-Union Minister Sanjay Paswan, while speaking to AAJ TAK has indicated the same, he also claimed to have met MS Dhoni a number of times in this regard and pointed that Dhoni is all set to commence his political innings with the BJP after his retirement from Cricket. Paswan also added that Dhoni has served the nation through Cricket for long and now he plans to join politics to serve the nation and society. However, Sanjay Paswan clarified that Dhoni is yet to take a final call in this regard.
The Indian Territorial Army conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Dhoni in 2011, making him the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to receive this honour. He has been a bold supporter of the Army, boosting their morale at many events and recently by sporting the Balidaan insignia of the Indian Army’s Special Forces in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The move sparked a controversy with the ICC denying permission for the skipper to wear the insignia but Indian Army officers felt honoured and moved by Dhoni’s gesture and it received huge support from fans and celebrities on social media.
— Ram Yadav (@RamYadav2143) June 7, 2019
Last year BJP President Amit Shah and Union Minister Piyush Goyal had met the former captain in Delhi as part of BJP’s Sampark for Samarthan campaign. However, Amit Shah had maintained that the meeting was totally official. After meeting MS Dhoni, Amit Shah had tweeted “As part of “Sampark for Samarthan” initiative, met @msdhoni, one of the greatest finishers in world cricket. Shared with him several transformative initiatives and unprecedented work done by PM @narendramodi’s govt in the last 4 years.”
As part of "Sampark for Samarthan" initiative, met @msdhoni, one of the greatest finishers in world cricket. Shared with him several transformative initiatives and unprecedented work done by PM @narendramodi's govt in the last 4 years. pic.twitter.com/dpFnPWTwWn
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 5, 2018
Recently another famous and reputed Indian Cricketer, Gautam Gambhir had recently in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, started his political innings with the BJP and emerged successful in his first electoral contest from East Delhi Parliamentary Constituency by winning the Lok Sabha election by a healthy margin. Nonetheless by joining the political field MS Dhoni will add his name to a long list of cricketers who have turned to politics after retirement from the sport.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not the first in this trend, legendary Sri Lankan opening Batsman Sanath Jayasuriya had taken the political plunge in 2010 and was successfully elected as the Member of Parliament in 2010, while he was still representing his country in ODI cricket. Representing the Matara district in Sri Lanka he served as Deputy Union Minister of Postal Services and later also became Deputy Union Minister of Local Government & Rural Development. Former Indian Captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was the first to start this trend of joining Politics after international cricketing careers in India. However for Pataudi his political career was not as illustrious as his Cricketing career. Pataudi fought two general elections, once in 1971 from Gurugram on a Vishal Haryana Party ticket after Indira Gandhi had abolished ‘privy purses’ and then in 1991 he contested from Bhopal on a Congress ticket, only to lose both the times. Controversial former Indian Skipper Mohammad Azharuddin had also started his political career in 2009 when he had contested from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad parliamentary constituency and became a Member of Parliament, however, he later lost in 2014 general elections. The BCCI had imposed a life ban on him after his name had cropped up in match-fixing scandal in the year 2000. Mahnedra Singh Dhoni could be set to join a long list of Indian cricketers who joined politics.
This list also Includes Navjot Singh Siddhu, Kirti Azad, Chetan Chauhan, Manoj Prabhakar, Mohammad Kaif, Vinod Kambli, Sreesanth and others who had taken the political route after their careers on the cricket field. Given the loyal fan base and untainted image of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he expected to shine bright in the political arena.