The Telegraph
Sunday , June 3 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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After cricket, Dhoni wants to play a role in the army...

Mahendra Singh Dhoni near the Line of Control, in Poonch, on Saturday. (PTI)

Srinagar: Lieutenant Colonel Mahendra Singh Dhoni is ready to stand guard on the Line of Control! He is ready to face any challenge emanating from across the border.

The Team India captain, who holds an honorary rank of Lt Colonel in the army and visited forward areas on the LoC in Poonch during the first of his five-day visit to Jammu & Kashmir Saturday, said he will not join politics after retiring from cricket but would certainly like to “serve actively” in the army.

“No sir, I don’t want to join politics,” he told reporters.

“I am from Jharkhand… I want my state to develop along with my country. More important than which party is in power, I want to contribute to the development of my state.”

So if politics appears to be a taboo, what about the option of joining the army?

“Yes I will like to serve, I would like to serve actively (in the army), but that will be only after cricket because I don’t want my cricket to suffer. That is something I am good at. Once my cricket career is over, I would definitely like to serve in the army”.

Behaving like a true army officer, Dhoni said “we” (army) are ready for any challenge emanating from Pakistan.

“That is a very difficult one (question),” he said when told that he was at a place that had seen many infiltration attempts by the militants.

What was his message to Pakistan?

“What we want is non violence. But at the end of the day we are here to protect the interest of our country for which our officers and jawans are positioned here… They also do a lot of sacrifice for it... So we are up and ready for it (challenge). We don’t want any sort of violence but we are up and ready for anything,” he added.

Dhoni said he was excited by his first visit to a forward area and first official trip as an army officer.

“It is very exciting… Before this I knew army from a distance but now I know it from close quarters.”

Dhoni also favoured resumption of cricketing ties with Pakistan.

“We have to make a beginning somewhere. Sports is a medium which transcends all borders,” he said.