Mahendra Singh Dhoni has inspired many youngsters to take up not just cricket but sport in general. Dhoni’s sporting philosophy -- with work ethic and pragmatism as its main elements -- has influenced many cricketers as well as athletes across sport, from not just India but around the world.
India international hockey player Manpreet Singh, for instance, is one of MS Dhoni’s biggest followers. He reveals how Captain Cool inspires him as well as England hockey team captain, Ashley Jackson.
Manpreet plays for Ranchi Rays in the Hockey India League, a team co-owned by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“It is very inspiring for us to play for a team owned by one of India’s most successful cricket captains MS Dhoni. The single most important motto of our team is to stay cool and calm just like MS Dhoni even during pressure situations and that has always worked for our team,” senior Indian hockey team’s midfielder Manpreet Singh, was quoted in the media.
Dhoni may have stepped down as skipper of the Indian cricket team, but his aura and legacy as a skipper will remain with the team.
The way Dhoni has led India to the top of world cricket, and the way he leads by example, inspires Ranchi Rays and England hockey captain Ashley Jackson, says Manpreet.
“Ashley follows cricket very closely and many a times, he brings to the table what Mahendra Singh Dhoni would do with his cricket team. Ashley apart from keeping the team together as one unit, he always tells us that we need to have the winning spirit Dhoni has and never to let our spirit down even if we have conceded early goals,” Manpreet adds.
Even Dhoni’s small text messages during Ranchi Rays’ HIL campaigns makes a huge difference in the team’s dressing room.
“Last time (2016 season), our coach conveyed Dhoni’s message to us where he not only wished us the best but reminded us that it’s not always about winning but to make sure we give our 100 per cent and only then results will follow. He also said that we will always have his support and that’s very encouraging,” Manpreet says.
The favourite pastime of the Ranchi Rays players happens to be playing cricket and trying to emulate Dhoni’s famous helicopter shot.
“We do a lot of fun activities when we are not playing hockey. Sometimes, during our camp, we end up playing cricket, try and imitate Dhoni’s famous helicopter shot and whoever comes close to it gets a loud cheer from the entire team,” says Manpreet.