From the cricket pitch to the skies: Dhoni is now a paratrooper

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Agra
  • Updated: Aug 22, 2015 17:29 IST
MS Dhoni with army jawans in Agra (HT Photo)

India ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has justified his rank as the honorary lieutenant colonel in 106 Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army (TA).

On Friday night, Dhoni became a qualified paratrooper and will now wear the coveted Para Wings insignia after completing his fifth jump from an Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft as part of his training at the Paratroopers Training School (PTS) in Agra.

He jumped from a height of 1,250 feet and landed successfully near the Malpura dropping zone in less than a minute at 7.52pm. Apart from the fact that he carried a torch with him while completing the task, authorities refrained from sharing any more information about the night jump.

On Friday, Dhoni also visited the Aerial Delivery and Research Development Establishment where he was told about parachute making. Later in the day, he also visited 509 Army Base Workshop.

He underwent a two-week training which included classroom lectures on basic techniques of para-jumping followed by toughening exercises to help prepare the body for the jerks and jolts involved in jumping off an aircraft with a parachute. He did a minimum of five jumps from a height of more than 12,000 feet off the plane—four during the day and one at night.

Dhoni was conferred the honorary rank of a Lt Col in the TA, a part of the regular army, in November 2011 and had said that his first ambition was to become an army officer, but destiny steered him into cricket.

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