Dhoni's stint with Army in Valley begins today

MS Dhoni/File Photo

Successful Indian Cricketer and Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army (TA), Mahendra Singh Dhoni will start a shot stint with the Army in Kashmir from Wednesday.

Dhoni, who opted to stay out of India’s tour to the West Indies that begins this week, to spend time with 106 TA battalion that was deployed in South Kashmir to assist Army’s Rashritrya Rifiles.

“The unit that Dhoni will join is in South Kashmir as part of Awantipora based Victor Force,” sources said.

“Dhoni will do a 15-day stint with the Victor Force. As requested by the officer and approved by Army Headquarters; Dhoni will be taking on the duties of patrolling, guard and post duty. He would be staying with troops and not take part in anti-militancy operations,” sources said.

He holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment (106 Para TA battalion), which was accorded to him by the Indian Army in 2011.

Four years ago, Dhoni became a qualified paratrooper when he completed five parachute training jumps from Indian Army aircrafts at the Agra training camp.

The wicketkeeper-batsman who enjoys cult status in India is part of the Territorial Army, a reservist force that draws on civilians who can do short stints to assist the military.

Earlier, on July 26 during sidelines of Kargil Vijay Diwas programme in Drass, Kargil Army Chief General Bipin Rawat expressed confidence that Dhoni will be able to accomplish the task assigned to him during his stint with the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army.

“I don’t think we will need to protect him, he will protect the citizens and garrison entrusted to his task,” Army Chief responded on security concern of celebrity cricketer Dhoni.