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Match referee Shakti Singh recounts memories from MS Dhoni’s last match as skipper

MS Dhoni v England
MS Dhoni bats during the warm-up game. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was quite a day for Shakti Singh in the first practice match between India and England at the Brabourne Stadium as the former made his debut as a match referee. While it was indeed special in its own right, the fact of the matter saw MS Dhoni lead out an India side for the last time. Shakti Singh, the match official on the day went on to speak about the surreal moment when he walked out for the toss.

“I entered the stadium with Dhoni, England captain Eoin Morgan and the commentator for the toss and it seemed like a different world to me, although I have walked out for a toss several times before. I had never witnessed such madness. All I could hear was chants of – Dhoni..Dhoni…Dhoni in the stadium,” match referee Shakti Singh told CricketNext during an exclusive interview.

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Singh also went on to state that he was indeed stunned to get the call to officiate the match that would be Dhoni’s last as skipper. He also went on to add that it was indeed an honor for him to do so.

“Honestly, I was stunned after I got the call to officiate in Dhoni’s last match as captain. I was at work when I got the call. I knew that Dhoni is going to captain for the last time in the warm-up game against England at Brabourne Stadium, but didn’t expect that I will be getting a call for the match. It was an honor for me to be a part of that historic match. The match has become a life-long memory for me,” Shakti said.

“There are four or five senior referees in Mumbai and I am one of them. I luckily got a call for Dhoni’s match as all other referees were busy with other matches,” he said.

He went on to add that he received umpteen number of calls as well. “I have received many calls after the match. People knew me but this match has made me more popular,” an elated Shakti said.

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Singh would go on to illustrate his encounter with the former Indian skipper as well.

“I met him [Dhoni] for the official documentation after the match. I congratulated him for his last match as captain, all I could say was – ‘well-played captain’. He smiled and said thanks,” Shakti said.

“I still smile and feel nostalgic when I recall that day. I am still in touch with the players we [Himachal Pradesh] were playing against [Haryana]. Chetan Sharma, Ajay Jadeja, Vijay Yadav are my good friends. Whenever we discuss that match, they say – bhai kya ho gya tha tujhe uss din,” Shakti signed off with a laugh.

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