Former India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is also an honorary Lt Colonel in the Territorial Army, will be training with parachute regiment battalion for two months.
Dhoni had made himself unavailable for the upcoming tour of the West Indies and was subsequently not selected. Indian selectors picked three squads for the tour with Rishabh Pant as the first-choice wicket-keeper. Veteran Wriddhiman Saha has been included in the Test squad but Pant is the lone keeper named in the ODI and T20I squads.
Also Read: 'Dhoni Knows When to Retire'
Meanwhile, a top Army source reportedly said that Dhoni's request to train with the Territorial Army has been approved by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat.
"The request has now been approved by the Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and the honorary Lt Col would train with the Territorial Army battalion affiliated to the Parachute regiment," Army sources said.
But former England cricketer and coach David Lloyd found it funny and he reacted with laughing emojis on Twitter.
ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ https://t.co/At1jrIwint— David 'Bumble' Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) July 20, 2019
Indian fans found it offensive and slammed Lloyd:
What makes you lough Mr. Lloyd.. Too much drinking is a very bad habit at your age.. ðÂÂÂ¤£ðÂÂÂ¤£ðÂÂÂ¤£— Sagnik (@Sagnik33425708) July 22, 2019
Is that a nervous laugh? U coward @BumbleCricket— Sankhadeep Saha (@sankhadeeps9) July 20, 2019
We laugh at you cause 40% of Birtish Indian Army served and died for your nation in WWII don't have an efficient and appropriate army mens to protect themselves and laughing out like a ignorant ..Pay Reparations to India First for all you snatched you thugs and thieves— Ravi Shankar Sharma (@RaviSha81034943) July 22, 2019
Funny when a person who was dropped similarly on multiple occasions reacts with laughter to this.— Sahil Panse (@sahil0909) July 22, 2019
@msdhoni is serving @adgpi since 2011 world cup, while a white shitt like you with no achievements in life was wasting time tasting wine, going to stupid tv shows and making fun of other legends. Grow up old fuck!! Not to forget you got some Pakistani beggars for support too.— Laltesh Sharma (@laltesh123) July 22, 2019
What did you find funny about this bumble? ðÂÂÂ¤ÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ— Subhajit Dey (@Subhajit2304) July 20, 2019
The wicketkeeper-batsman would now train with the Parachute Regiment, a part of which is expected to take place in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.
The Army, however, will not allow Dhoni to be part of any active operation, sources mentioned.
Dhoni, along with Abhinav Bindra, was conferred the rank of honorary Lt Col in the Territorial Army in 2011 for their contribution to the sports field.
Both of them were piped-in by the then Army Chief General V K Singh, who is now a minister in the Modi government.
Dhoni is affiliated to the 106 infantry battalion of the Territorial Army. The battalion is attached to the Parachute Regiment.
After being conferred the rank, Dhoni trained in Agra in 2015. The Lt Col performed five jumps.
His love for the uniform has been visible many times.
While receiving the Padma Bhushan award last year, Dhoni donned his Army uniform.
During a World Cup match earlier this year, he was seen wearing the "Balidaan" badge on his gloves. The badge is associated with Special Forces (of the 2016 Surgical Strike fame) with the Indian Army.
However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) later refused to allow him to wear the insignia on his gloves.
(With ANI inputs)