Speaking at a ceremony to mark the silver jubilee of the Thiruvallur District Cricket Association, MS Dhoni said that cricketers should be proud of representing their district as it is the stepping stone to the higher level.
"It is the first time I am part of a celebration where we are celebrating the success of a district association. I would also like to thank my district cricket association back home (Ranchi). Cricketers should be proud of representing their district.
The World Cup winning captain stressed that although he is happy to have represented the country, it wouldn't have been possible if he hadn't played for his district or school.
"I am proud of the fact that I got the chance to represent my country, but it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't played for my district or school," Dhoni said.
Dhoni was part of the event as the chief guest alongside former ICC Chairman and former BCCI president N Srinivasan. He also lauded Thiruvallar District Cricket Association for completing 25 years.
"Congratulations to the Thiruvallur District Cricket Association for completing 25 years. It's more than 25 years, but we are celebrating it today. I have known (RN) Baba (TDCA secretary) for a very long time. A big congrats to not only him but also others in the association,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Srinivasan said, "For any association to last long is not easy. The love for the game makes him (Baba) work for cricket. He has developed grounds, cricketers, and outstanding sportspersons."
"And, the association has taught everyone the value of sportsmanship. I wish them (the TDCA) more laurels and further greatness," he added.
The TDCA, in association with the Tamil Nadu Sports Journalists’ Association (TNSJA), gave away scholarships to the tune of Rs 3 lakh to ten sportspersons from different disciplines in the State of Tamil Nadu with Dhoni handing over the cheques.
India Cements Wholetime Director Rupa Gurunath, CSK CEO KS Viswanathan, and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association office-bearers also attended the function.
A host of male and female cricketers, including India internationals Ravichandran Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, and MD Thirushkamini, congratulated the TDCA via video messages.
TDCA secretary Dr R N Baba, who was the media manager of the Indian cricket team between 2012 and 2015 including the 2013 Champions Trophy and 2015 World Cup, proposed a vote of thanks.