Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni tries his luck with a bow at SAI centre at Birsa Munda Football Stadium in Ranchi on Saturday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Sept. 14: Archer Asha Rani Horo, a tribal from Khunti who won silver in the junior national championship in Dhanbad last year, was never so nervous to hold the bow and arrow as she was today.
And, why not?
After all, she had to teach the nuances of archery to none other than Team India captain and Ranchi boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Making the most of his break ahead of a gruelling cricket schedule, skipper Dhoni tried his hand at archery during an hour-long “surprise visit” to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre on Birsa Munda Football Stadium premises in Morabadi. He also promised to play soccer with the trainees on another day.
The skipper also assured SAI authorities of all possible help to budding players from Jharkhand, revealed insiders.
Besides, Dhoni met three soccer senoritas who were part of the team that went to play an under-18 international tournament in Spain and were now undergoing training at the SAI centre. Rashmi Kumari Munda from Silli, Sumitra Marandi from Dumka and Pushpa Tirkey from Gumla were more than happy to meet him.
Later, the skipper also met athletes and volleyball players.
“Although, we knew that Dhoni would visit us today morning, we kept things under wraps. He met archers and footballers and also promised to play soccer at Birsa Munda grounds soon,” SAI chief coach and administrator S.K. Verma told The Telegraph.
The skipper was likely to visit the centre again in the next three-four days. “Dhoni’s love for soccer is as old as cricket. So, we are sure he will come back to keep his word,” said a SAI official.
Of late, the skipper has been quite a regular on Twitter. Days after he uploaded his new furry friend, Leah’s pictures on the social networking site, Dhoni tweeted about dismantling his first bike, a Yamaha Rajdoot, which he bought for only Rs 4,500 in 1990.
Dhoni is in Ranchi to enjoy a much-needed break before taking to the willow again. He will play for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Champions League Twenty20 at the sprawling greens of JSCA International Cricket Stadium in Dhurwa, Ranchi, at the end of the month.