Keep supporting Indian team in transition, Dhoni to diaspora

In a rare public appearance in the US, Indian ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni interacted with the diaspora here and called on them to keep supporting the cricket team, which he said is going through a lot of changes.

“Keep supporting us. We have a good side, we have a good team. We are in a phase where we are going through a lot of changes but with all due support of yours, we will keep doing well,” Dhoni said in an interaction at the Siddhivinayak Temple here yesterday.

Dhoni, accompanied by his wife Sakshi and former Deputy Chief Minister of Jharkhand Sudesh Kumar Mahto, performed puja at the temple, which is under construction and will open to the public later this year.

Dressed casually in jeans and t-shirt, Dhoni said it is “a first of a kind” visit to the US for him, since whenever he comes to America, he does not do any public events and only spends private time with family.

“I have been to different places. Most of them have been cricket-playing nations like England and Australia. This was a one of a kind (visit) in the US,” he said referring to his public appearance at the temple.

He said it was an “eye-opener” for him to see how the diaspora has embraced US culture but at the same time held on to their Indian heritage.

“This is something that is really appreciable. Having immigrated to the US many years ago but to still be 200 per cent Indian and still acknowledge and respect the traditions of the country you are in, I feel is something that everybody needs to learn,” he said.

Dhoni also voiced appreciation for the way the first and second generation Indian-Americans have taught their younger children about various aspects of life.

“That is something I really appreciate,” he said.

Thanking the gathering for the “warm welcome”, Dhoni, who did not interact with the media, said it is an honour for him to be present at the temple.