Winning World T20 together in 2007 my best MS Dhoni memory, recalls Irfan Pathan

Winning World T20 together in 2007 my best MS Dhoni memory, recalls Irfan Pathan

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Irfan Pathan, who played 68 international games under the leadership of MS Dhoni, described winning the inaugural World T20 in 2007 together with the wicket-keeper as his favourite Dhoni moment. Pathan further feels the veteran would not have retired if not for the postponement of WT20 2020.

The 2007 World T20, the inaugural edition of the tournament, in South Africa, marked the start of the MS Dhoni revolution. On the back of an embarrassment in the 50-over World Cup in West Indies in the same year, the Indian selectors sent to the Rainbow Nation a bunch of unproven youngsters and named a 26-year-old Dhoni as the side’s skipper, and while there were no expectations from the side, a young Indian unit stunned the world by lifting the WT20 title against all odds. 

There were a lot of takeaways from the tournament - not least the match-winning ability of Yuvraj Singh - but none bigger than Dhoni’s captaincy, which served as the primary reason for the Men in Blue triumphing.

Irfan Pathan, who was one of the key members in the World Cup-winning side, on the back of MS Dhoni’s retirement on Saturday, has labelled lifting the WT20 title together with a then 26-year-old ‘Mahi’ as his favourite cricketing memory of the legendary wicket-keeper.

“The best moment with him was obviously winning the T20 World Cup together. On and off the field, we had so many great memories. We had quite a few meals together. There used to be a time before 2007 when we hardly missed a meal, we always used to eat together,” Pathan told News18.

“One unforgettable thing he has said... there have been quite a few things. One thing he always tells the bowlers especially who is bowling at the death, even if you go for 15 runs I'm okay with that because the situation demands at the moment, which makes the bowler relax.”

Despite not playing a single game of professional cricket post the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in July, Dhoni held back on retirement for over a year, before abruptly calling time on his career via an Instagram post on August 15. Pathan, who himself announced his retirement from the sport earlier this year, is of the opinion that Dhoni’s decision might have been influenced by the World T20 getting pushed to 2021. 

“But there is not much cricket in terms of T20 or one-day going ahead. The T20 World Cup is also going to happen at the end of the next year. If the T20 World Cup would have been there in Australia, we would have seen Dhoni pushing himself and keeping himself fit to that level, and that mindset as well.

"But now the World Cup isn't happening and this news has come. It was inevitable. All the legends retire one day, and today is the day of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.”

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