JUNE 17 2012 KATHMANDU – Indian National cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday morning to a rapturous reception from a big crowd that had gathered outside the Tribhuvan International Airport hours ahead of his arrival.
Dhoni, one of the game’s best-known stars, is on a two-day visit along with his wife Sakshi on the invitation of the Indian Embassy. “I came here to talk to cricketers and promote the game. Youth should come forward for sports besides studies as it helps earn goodwill for the country,” Dhoni told reporters.
The 31-year-old cricket star said he was aware of cricket in Nepal, but could not come to follow the sport’s progress here due to his busy schedule, largely due to Indian team’s hectic calendar.
The Cricket Association of Nepal took the opportunity to declare him goodwill ambassador of Nepal cricket, to which the Indian skipper reacted with excitement. “Cricket is an upcoming sport in Nepal and I want to see Nepali youth forming a famous cricket team in the future,” he said.
Amid roaring cheers from the fans, the Captain Cool spent nearly an hour at the Tribhuvan University ground where he briefed the Nepal national and U-19 teams about the technique to play under pressure—a trait he has mastered in leading India to ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 and the ICC World Cup in 2011.
The visit to Kathmandu could not have come at better time for Nepal U-19 players, who are undergoing preparation for the ICC U-19 World Cup qualifiers to be held in Malaysia later this month. “He spoke in length on how to keep your cool under pressure. He also advised us to make the best use of the resources at our disposal instead of looking for things we don’t have,” said Pradeep Aire, a national team player.
Dhoni, who was ranked the highest earning cricketer by Forbes last year, has not forgotten his roots. Having climbed up the ranks from the Indian state of Jharkhand, he relates the plight of the Nepali cricketers to his own.
“It’s not about what you don’t have but it’s about making the best use of what you have,” he said, emphasizing on hard work and passion.