No cricket fan can ever forget MS Dhoni’s towering six at the Wankhede Stadium in 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka. Now, as Dhoni announced his retirement on August 15, a plan is in pipeline to mark the seat on his name at the Wankhede, where his famous six landed.
Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) Apex Council member Ajinkya Naik wrote a letter to the MCA, suggesting the same. “As an act of gratitude and tribute to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s immense contribution to Indian cricket, the MCA can devote a permanent seat on his name at the stand where his famous World Cup-winning six had landed,” read Naik’s letter, which has been accessed by The Indian Express.
“We can find out the area where the ball landed – and which seat it was flying to – after Dhoni smashed it to win the 2011 World Cup.”
This would be the first time such a thing could be introduced in India, however has been implemented a few times abroad.
Back in 1993, a seat at MCG was Great Southern Stand, was painted yellow to commemorate Simon O’Donnell’s 122-metre six for Victoria over New South Wales. Also, in 2018, Ethihad Stadium in Melbourne painted the seat red, to honour Brad Hodge, who smashed a 96-metre six, in his last match. New Zealand’s Grant Elliot too has a seat named after him, when he hit Dale Steyn for a six, after the Kiwis entered the final of World Cup in 2015.Twitter
The plaque on the seat stated: “Here Lies the Resting Place of Grant Elliott’s Mighty Six That Propelled the Blackcaps on March 24, 2015, into their maiden World Cup Final.”
“We can paint and decorate the seat in a unique way to celebrate Dhoni’s association with historical Wankhede Stadium in Indian cricket history,” Naik’s letter said. “The seat could also be used as a major tourist attraction, like a paid tour of the stadium perhaps. It will allow the fans to relive the most glorious moment in Indian cricket and it will be part of MCA’s heritage. We can have a plaque on that seat with some special text to honour that moment.”
“It would also be nice if possible to find out where that World Cup ball is,” he added in the letter. “It can be a proud attraction in the upcoming cricket museum. Here is a small suggestion from me to honour the legendary MS Dhoni.”