'If I make 30 lakh..' - ex teammate reveals amusing MS Dhoni tale from early days as India player
Man with the most humble of beginnings going to become one of the biggest cults ever in Indian cricket, there is very little left unknown about the journey and the legend of MS Dhoni today. Yet, there are tales that continue to warm the hearts, with the occasion of his 42nd birthday on July 7 being the ideal opportunity to revisit them.
Former India opener and one of Dhoni's ex teammates Wasim Jaffer has one such amusing tale to tell from the great wicketkeeper-batter's early days at the international stage, back when playing opportunities for the Jharkhand lad were quite limited and he hadn't boomed into superstardom.
Those were the days Dhoni, Jaffer, who was making a Test comeback, and other young India hopefuls on the team's fringes, including RP Singh, would sit together in the team bus and pour their hearts out.
It was during one of these conversations, Jaffer revealed, Dhoni, one of the richest cricketers today, would tell him "If I make 30 lakhs", he would be fine enough to go back to Jharkhand and sustain a cherished living.
Jaffer reveals interesting MS Dhoni story
Speaking to Sportskeeda in an interview, Jaffer revealed being privy to the young MS Dhoni's mindset, wherein, though some obvious uncertainty and insecurity about his playing future, he could also sense a deep-rootedness about the man.
"I remember I made my comeback in the year 2005, and Dhoni was new to the team as he made his debut at the end of 2004 (December 2004) playing One-Day cricket. I used to play Test cricket back then," Jaffer recalled.
"We used to sit at the back. Me, my wife, Dinesh Karthik, his wife, Dhoni, and RP Singh, we all used to sit in the last few seats. Dhoni used to talk to my wife quite a lot because we used to sit together and we all used to talk a lot."
During one of their conversations, Dhoni told Jaffer that he wishes to make "30 lakhs" worth of income to sustain a livelihood and stay put in Jharkhand as he desired. Jaffer realised the word came from Dhoni's journey working in the Railways once and having to struggle to make ends meet while also ensuring he looked after himself as a cricketer.
"We all know that he used to work in Railways, and had to travel a lot to practice his game. Even after all the struggle, there were times when he did not get an opportunity to play. I think he left that job, or something was the case, and he used to say that he wants to make 30 lakh so that he can spend the rest of his life peacefully in Ranchi and he doesn’t want to leave Ranchi also."
"He said come what may, he will never leave Ranchi. Since he was very new to the international setup back then, he used to say ‘If I make 30 lakh, that will be enough for me to live peacefully’. That’s how grounded he was, and that’s how grounded I feel he still is. Even after achieving so much in his career after so long, that is the humility of the man. He has small goals and small aims," Jaffer added.