Had it not been cricket, Dhoni would have been serving the Indian Army…

Had it not been cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been serving the Indian Army. This was revealed by the Indian skipper, a lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, while addressing the faculties and cadets at OTA in Chennai on Wednesday.

“Had it not been for cricket, I would have been serving the elite Indian army as a soldier. The love for an army life began when I happened to visit a camp in Uttarkhand as a young boy. But when I took up cricket, it turned out as my profession,” said Dhoni, according to a report in The DNA.

Dhoni, clad in his full military uniform, arrived at the OTA campus on Wednesday morning. He saw various training sessions featuring men and women cadets who are undergoing a gruelling training for 49 weeks prior to their commissioning in the Army. Later, he addressed the faculties and cadets about leadership qualities.

Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar inaugurated a museum ‘Blades of Glory', created by cricket enthusiast Rohan Pate, here on Wednesday. “Rohan has shown commitment and hard work in collecting the memorabilia. I gave him my first bat two years ago and since then he has travelled all over the world, collected bats, other equipment and their autographs. It's a fantastic museum, the best I have seen in terms of equipment put together”said Tendulkar, according to The Hindu report.

The museum's main attractions are autographed bats of the World Cup-winning teams, Indian teams that have played in the World Cups and the T20-winning Indian team, framed pictures of the evolution of bats and balls signed by bowlers who have taken 300, 400, 500 plus Test wickets. The museum also has the T-shirt, helmet, bat, chest guard, leg guard, elbow guard used by Tendulkar during World Cup 2011 and 100 miniature bats on a wall as a tribute to his hundred 100s.

Sunil Gavaskar in his column in The Times Of India writes that it were the slow starts that were hurting Team Pune’s chances in IPL-5. “Team Pune have stumbled in their quest for a place in the last four. They had begun well, but having lost to Hyderabad twice, they will have to work really hard to get back on track. Till the other day, every team thought it could easily take points from Hyderabad and even improve its net run-rate. But Pune have made a hash of both their matches against them. Perhaps, it was overconfidence. Hopefully, they have learnt their lesson: you can’t underestimate anyone. What the Pune team is lacking is a quick start, especially in the first six overs when the field restrictions are in place. It is in these overs that teams should look to garner at least 50 or 60 runs. Then, in the next 14 overs, with wickets in hand, they can aim to score another 120,” writes Gavaskar.