Team India had their backs against the wall in the aftermath of a disastrous campaign in the 2007 World Cup where they bowed out from the group stages losing to Bangladesh when MS Dhoni was awarded the leadership duties. The rest is history as the Men in Blues scaled new heights under his captaincy and he made Indian Cricket one of the brutal forces across all conditions. But how did MS Dhoni’s name pop-up as the captain? Former BCCI chief Sharad Pawar has shed some light on it.
Incidentally, Rahul Dravid had stepped down from the role after India’s defeat in the World Cup in 2007 taking all responsibilities. As a result, a new candidate had to be found out for leading the national team. Sharad Pawar, who hails from Mumbai went to batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar to take up the duties but he turned down the offer. But Tendulkar suggested MS Dhoni’s name, who was into his fourth year of international cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar suggested MS Dhoni’s name to BCCI – Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar, who served as BCCI President from 2005 to 2008 narrated the whole incident during a public meeting. The office-bearers of the governing body accepted Sachin Tendulkar’s suggestion and handed over the leadership duties to MS Dhoni and then the rest is history.
“I remember India had gone to England in 2007. At that time, Rahul Dravid was the captain. I was there in England then and Dravid came to meet me. He told me how he no longer wanted to lead India. He told me how the captaincy was affecting his batting. He told me that he should be relieved from the captaincy. I then asked Sachin Tendulkar to lead the side, but he refused the role,” said Pawar during a public meeting.
“I told Sachin that if both of you and Dravid do not want to lead the side, how will we go about things? Then Sachin told me that we have one more player in the country who could lead the side and his name is none other than MS Dhoni. After that, we gave the leadership to Dhoni,” he added.
It was under Dhoni’s leadership that India lifted the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 after having led India to triumph in the ICC World T20 in its maiden edition of the tournament held in 2007 in South Africa. With India winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 in England, Dhoni became the first and is still the only captain to date to have won all three ICC Trophies.
In December 2014, MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket, and last year, he called time on his limited-overs career.