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MCC President T.G. Thyagarajan presenting honorary membership card to M.S. Dhoni.
CHENNAI:The Madras Cricket Club (MCC) inducted Indian captain M.S. Dhoni as an honorary member and felicitated the Chennai Super Kings here on Friday.
Dhoni, who was welcomed by club president T.G. Thyagarajan in the mellow-lit, wood-panelled lobby, said it was an immense honour to be part of a club that had such a rich tradition in sport.
Dhoni joins a select list which includes Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Leander Paes.
“It feels great to stand here and say I'm a proud member of the Madras Cricket Club,” he said to wild cheers from a crowd that needed little to excite it.
“My first thoughts of Chennai, in 1999-00 when we were scheduled to play zonal matches here, was that it was too far to travel and play — it used to take two days from Jamshedpur. I didn't know that five years later I'd make my Test debut here, and three years after that I'd spend a month of my life in the city, training and working and trying to do my best for the people of Chennai.”
Speaking of the Chennai Super Kings, which he leads, Dhoni said, “A large part of our success in winning IPL-3 was thanks to the local players who really stepped up.
“The crowd support was great and the people of the city really appreciate good cricket. You support Chennai but you also support good cricket, so please stay that way.”
Several members of the club spoke, welcoming Dhoni “into the family”, and the best line of the night came from V. Ramnarayan, the former Ranji cricketer. “I think this (membership) is an elaborate ploy to convince Dhoni to play the Ranji Trophy for Tamil Nadu and add another title to his bag,” he said, tongue in cheek.
N. Srinivasan, TNCA president and managing director of India Cements which owns Chennai Super Kings, thanked the MCC for its “warm, affectionate welcome” and commended the club for its emphasis on sports. “It is fitting that MCC, which has been at the forefront of cricket for a very long time, has chosen to honour the Super Kings,” he said.
S. Badrinath, R. Ashwin, K.B. Arun Karthick, and Hemang Badani were the local cricketers felicitated for their part in the Super Kings triumph.
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