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"A player has come who will make people forget Sachin Tendulkar" - Rashid Latif's first introduction to MS Dhoni

Winning Captain's Press Conference - 2011 ICC World Cup
Winning Captain's Press Conference - 2011 ICC World Cup

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif recalled the moment when a former bowler told him about MS Dhoni for the first time, saying that the wicketkeeper-batsman has the potential to overshadow the exploits of Sachin Tendulkar.

In a recent interaction, Latif revealed that Tanvir Ahmed had spoken about MS Dhoni to him on a phone call from Nairobi where Kenya and the ‘A’ teams of India and Pakistan played a triangular series in 2004.

“I remember I spoke to Tanvir Ahmed who had gone to the tour to Kenya in 2004. I was in England at the time. I spoke to him on phone. Tanvir told me that Rashid Bhai, a player has come who will make people forget about Sachin Tendulkar. I said ‘that is not possible. Sachin is Sachin, how can you get a player like this’,” Latif revealed in the latest episode of his YouTube show ‘Caught Behind’.

MS Dhoni emerged as the highest run-getter in Nairobi, scoring 362 runs in six innings at an average of 72.40. He hit two hundreds and a half-century.

MS Dhoni was as big a brand as Sachin, feels Latif

MS Dhoni en-route his 183 against Sri Lanka in Jaipur in 2005. Image Credits: India Today
MS Dhoni en-route his 183 against Sri Lanka in Jaipur in 2005. Image Credits: India Today

MS Dhoni earned a national call-up in December that very year for India’s away series against Bangladesh. It didn’t take long for the Ranchi lad to stamp his authority on the international stage. He blazed away to a blistering 123-ball 148 against Pakistan in just his fifth one day international.

In the next series against Sri Lanka at home, MS Dhoni blasted the highest ODI score by a wicketkeeper (183 not out) in Jaipur.

Latif further added, “Dhoni came quite close to Sachin in his career in terms of brand value.”

Indeed, MS Dhoni remains the only captain to have won all three ICC white-ball trophies – World T20 in 2007, World Cup in 2011 and Champions Trophy in 2013. He is also the first Indian captain to have guided the team to the summit of the ICC Test rankings in 2009.

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Edited by Habil Ahmed Sherule
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