Former cricketer VVS Laxman has paid a rich tribute to MS Dhoni, saying the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman is a source of inspiration for millions of Indians and is both loved and respected a lot across the globe.
Dhoni, on August 15, announced his retirement from international cricket, thus bringing an end to an illustrious career spanning 16 years.
Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Laxman shed light on how Dhoni’s personality ensured he earned respect from the whole world.
“Love comes from cricketing fans for your cricketing achievements, but respect comes by the way you have conducted yourself, by the way you carried yourself.
“And I always felt that captaining the Indian team is probably the toughest challenge for anyone, you know because there’s so much of expectation from everyone around the world. All the Indians around the world want the Indian team to do well, so there’s a lot of responsibility on the Indian team captain.
“But MS Dhoni has always been emotionally detached from the results. He has inspired millions of Indians, not only the sports fans but millions of Indians on how to conduct and how to become an ambassador of your country, how to carry yourself in the public domain. And that’s why he’s so respected,” he added.
Dhoni, who made his ODI debut in 2004, changed the face of Indian cricket with his calm demeanour, sharp understanding of the game and astute leadership qualities. He remains the only captain in the world to have won all three ICC Trophies – ICC World Cup, T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy.
“When you see the social media posts, it’s not only from the former players or the cricketing fans, it’s from all the Indians, whether you take film stars, socialites, esteemed businessmen, politicians,” said Laxman.
“Around the world, all the former cricketers, the entire cricketing fraternity, have thanked MS Dhoni for his contribution not to Indian cricket, but world cricket,” he added.
The 39-year-old turned up for India in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20Is, affecting a staggering number of 829 dismissals behind the stumps.