SRINAGAR: Former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni will be with his Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment (106 Para TA battalion) in Kashmir from July 31 to August 15. The 38-year-old will undertake duties of patrolling, guard and post duty and will be staying with the troops. Notably, Dhoni holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is also an honorary Lt Colonel in the Territorial Army, will be training with parachute regiment battalion for two months.
A top Army source said on Sunday that Dhoni’s request has been approved by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. “The request has now been approved by the Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and the honorary Lt Col would train with the Territorial Army battalion affiliated to the Parachute regiment,” Army sources said.
The wicketkeeper-batsman would now train with the Parachute regiment, a part of which is expected to take place in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.
The Army, however, will not allow Dhoni to be part of any active operation, sources mentioned.
Dhoni, along with Abhinav Bindra, was conferred the rank of honorary Lt Col in the Territorial Army in 2011 for their contribution to the sports field. Both of them were piped-in by the then Army Chief General V K Singh, who is now a minister in the Modi government.
Dhoni is affiliated to the 106 infantry battalion of the Territorial Army. The battalion is attached to the Parachute regiment. After being conferred the rank, Dhoni trained in Agra in 2015. The Lt Col performed five jumps.
His love for the uniform has been visible many times. While receiving the Padma Bhushan award last year, Dhoni donned his Army uniform. During a World Cup match earlier this year, he was seen wearing the “Balidaan” badge on his gloves. The badge is associated with Special Forces (of the 2016 Surgical Strike fame) with the Indian Army.
However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) later refused to allow him to wear the insignia on his gloves. On one occasion, the former Indian Cricket team captain was photographed with Colonel Santosh Mahadik – who got martyred during an operation in Kashmir. (ANI)