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One of the biggest legends of the game, what MS Dhoni has given to cricket, probably no other player ever can. Though the Chennai Super Kings’s campaign in Indian Premier League (IPL) was cut short this time, Dhoni didn’t fail to entertain with his cameos in the T20 league. If the match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru was the last people have seen of Dhoni, he did sign-off on style, hitting a 110-meter six before being dismissed for what could be the final time in his career.

Dhoni, despite being 42 years old already, did very well in preparing himself for the challenge that IPL throws at every player. In a candid chat, Dhoni admitted that he has had to work really hard to prove his fitness and excel against younger players in the IPL.

“The toughest thing is… I am not playing cricket throughout the year. So I have to be fit. Once I come, you are competing against youngsters who are fit and playing international cricket. Professional sport is not easy, nobody gives you a discount for age. If you want to play, you have to be as fit as the other guy. Age does not really give that grace to you. So, eating habits, a bit of training and all those things are there. Social media, thankfully, I am not on social media, so there’s less distraction,” Dhoni said on Dubai Eye 103.8 YouTube channel.

It’s been a while since Dhoni quit international cricket. The 2019 ODI World Cup was the last for the veteran wicket-keeper batter, and since then, IPL has been the only professional event in his career.

But, the man who gave everything to the sport on the field, has had to keep himself busy with other passionate interests like cars, bikes, farming, since then.

“Once I quit international cricket, I wanted to spend a bit more time with my family. But, at that same time, to be mentally active, to have that passion to stay focussed — for me, I love farming, for me it is the motorbikes, I have started getting into vintage cars. These things de-stress me. If am stressed, I would maybe go to the garage, spend a couple of hours over there and I will just be fine, I would come back,” he said.

“I have always felt growing up with a pet, whether it is a cat or a dog… I prefer dogs though. They have unconditional love towards you. I have said this in a previous interview, even if I lose a game and come back, my dog greets me the same way,” he added.

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