I spent most of my childhood in a small town in Bihar, watching cricket. Passionate for Indian Cricket, I used to adore all the legends of my time… Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Srinath, Kumble,Jadeja, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Yuraj to name a few. They all were equal to me as they all played for my country, my team, Team India.
Meanwhile I grew older and had to move out of Bihar in order to pursue higher education and earn a living. As on this day, I have lived in 5 states of India, been to almost all the states and have been friends with atleast one person from each state of India. As I moved from one city to another; got to interact with people from different states, I started realizing that India is not as how I used to think of it as a kid. Some owned Gavaskar and Tendulkar, Some owned Sehwag, Kapil Dev, Jadeja, others owned Srinath, Kumble and Dravid. Yes, they belonged to their states, atleast that’s how their supporters from their states perceive it. In a quick time I had lost all my heroes who belonged to me until then, as none of these belonged to my land. I looked desperately for one of my own but found none!! I didn’t have any iconic face to show and proudly say – Look, I belong to the land of ……….
Struggling with identity crisis, I tried looking for a person who is best in his or her field, and belongs to my land. All in vain… I found none!! And To top it there existed a joker who became the identity of every Bihari at this time…. Respected Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav. Needless to mention how people used to see a Laloo in every single Bihari like me.
Around 2007-08, when I had lost interest and touch with cricket, I got to hear this name ‘MS Dhoni’ who had already impressed many people with his blistering batting. It was 2007 when a second seed immature team was sent for World T20 Championship under MS Dhoni’s Captainship. He got us the World Cup, with a team that people, including the team selectors, thought would hardly win even a single match. Following this he was made the captain of the sinking Indian ODI team. Gradually, India was back in Cricket. And more importantly I found a hero I had been looking for since ages!!
With the evident dominance of Cricket boards of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Delhi etc in BCCI, it was difficult for an outsider to sustain even in the playing 11, forget about leading the team. Time and again people have tried to pull him down but with his skills Dhoni has not just sustained but thrived.
Today India lost to Australia in the world cup semifinal. Possibly this was the last ODI world cup MS Dhoni was playing. Never mind MS, you have given a bright face to me and million others like me from Bihar, Jharkhand , eastern UP….and now India. We cannot thank you enough for that!! Cheers MSD!!! You are, and will always remain our Hero!!