Video: MS Dhoni completes para-jump as Lt. Colonel from 1250 feet
Indian limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who led the side to victory at the 2011 World Cup at home, was conferred the honorary title of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Indian Air Force following the World Cup win.
Dhoni completed his para-jump at the Agra base after undergoing a two-week training programme at the Paratroopers Training School in the northern Indian city. Leaping off an AN-32 aircraft, Dhoni completed a jump of 1250 feet and finished with a 70-second landing.
He was conferred the honorary military title in 2011 following India’s World Cup victory, as was India’s Olympic gold-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra. Other cricketers to hold honorary titles include another former World Cup-winning skipper, Kapil Dev, who is an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army, and the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who holds the honour of being an IAF Group Captain.
The Ranchi-born cricketer spoke of his desire to serve in the Indian military after his retirement from cricket.
"Why I got here is because of cricket. I would like to serve actively in the Army only after cricket. I don't want my cricket to suffer because that is something I am good at. Once my cricket career is over, I would definitely like to serve in the Army,” he said after being conferred the honour by India’s then-President, Pratibha Patil.
Late last year, the skipper announced his retirement from Test cricket following India’s loss to Australia at the test series they played in Melbourne in December.
An active sportsperson, Dhoni plays several sports apart from cricket. He is a keen football fan, and is well-known for his love of automobiles. A collector of bikes, he often refurbishes and reworks them himself.
Dhoni will lead the Indian side against AB de Villiers’ South African side in the LOIs this October.