What happened to MS Dhoni's World Cup-winning ball?
MS Dhoni hit the winning runs of the 2011 ICC World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The win came in the form of a six. As of now, Dhoni has won three major ICC tournaments with India, while he had also helped India win the ICC Test Championship mace.
Which is your best and iconic MS Dhoni moment? While there would be a countless number of them, we are sure that most of you would refer to the moment when he hit the winning six to help India win the 2011 ICC World Cup.
Well, it certainly is one of his iconic moments, as Dhoni himself relates to it as one of his iconic. But, have you ever wondered what happened to the ball that went for the winning six at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, or where did it exactly land?
It might not be a big concern for you, but the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) was adamant in knowing that. As per a recent report by The Indian Express, apparently, the search for that has come to an end, as the MCA officials have not just identified the spot, but also the one who possesses the very ball.
The search operation was launched last month following Dhoni's retirement from international cricket. Meanwhile, MCA Apex Council member Ajinkya Naik wrote a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), asking them to honour the seat, in the stand, in the name of Dhoni.
“As an act of gratitude and tribute to his immense contribution to Indian cricket, the MCA can devote a permanent seat on his name at the pavilion where his famous World Cup-winning six had landed. We can paint and decorate the seat in a unique way to celebrate Dhoni’s association with Wankhede Stadium… We can have a plaque on that seat with some special text to honour that moment,” the letter read.
The seat happens to be number 210 in the L Block of the MCA Pavilion. Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar has informed MCA that the person who possesses the World-Cup winning ball happens to be an acquaintance of a friend of his. “Gavaskar informed Ajinkya that his friend knows the person who was at that spot, and even has the ball with him,” an MCA member was quoted as saying.
Dhoni had hit the winning six off Sri Lanka's Nuwan Kulasekara. The person with the very ball has reportedly kept it safe, in a display case, along with the match ticket. The decision to paint the seat is being done after the MCA accepted a request by the Maharashtra government to open Wankhede Stadium for tourists and visitors.
Meanwhile, the concept of painting the seat is not the first one. It happens to be in Australia's Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for Simon O’Donnell’s 122-metre six, while the Melbourne's Etihad Stadium has the same for Brad Hodge's 96-metre six in the Big Bash League (BBL). Also, in New Zealand, Grant Elliot's 2015 World Cup six at Eden Park, in Auckland, has been honoured in the same manner.