For cricket and its fans there is only one "God", that is Sachin Tendulkar. Even after retirement from the game, the batting legend has his legion of supporters giving him same amount of love, affection and adulation.
In Tendulkar's city - Mumbai, on Tuesday (January 10), the respect previously seen and reserved only for him in Indian cricket, was shown to another cricketer.
A young man jumped a 10-feet fence at the Brabourne Stadium, managed to escape the security personnel's eyes, invaded the pitch to touch his idol's feet. And he succeeded in his mission. (Yuvraj interviews Dhoni)
Dhoni, who last week stepped down from limited overs captaincy, was leading an Indian side for one last time. His supporters, in thousands, made a beeline for the stadium. And the wicketkeeper-batsman did not let them down.
The 35-year-old smashed an unbeaten 68 off 40 balls for India A against England in a warm-up tie. During his batting innings, a fan fulfilled his dream of touching his hero's feet and also shook hands with him.
Four years ago, in January 2013, at Mumbai's another iconic venue - Wankhede Stadium, a fan touched Tendulkar's feet after he completed his century during a Ranji Trophy quarter-final.
In July 2014, Tendulkar's team-mate Yuvraj Singh touched the legend's feet during a Rest of the World-Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) game at the famous Lord's Cricket Ground.
After Tendulkar's "blessings", Yuvraj struck a century in the same game. Yuvraj again repeated the act at the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year.
Tendulkar himself has gone on record saying he doesn't like people touching his feet. "I used to receive letters written in blood...But not any more. It feels strange when a fan comes and touches your feet and says you are God. I don't feel comfortable with it, but it is the way they feel about you...That happened again just a couple of weeks ago actually," the former Indian captain had said in an interview few years back.
In 2013, a teary-eyed Virat Kohli had touched Tendulkar's feet in Wankhede Stadium's dressing room when the legend retired from international cricket after playing 200 Tests.
"I was speechless. I held him (Kohli) tight and said, 'Arre tu yeh kya kar raha hain? Tujhe yahan nahi, yahan hona chahiye.' (What are you doing touching my feet? You should be giving me a hug)," Tendulkar had written about the incident in his autobiography "Playing It My Way".
It would be interesting to know Dhoni's reaction on the same after the respect he received on Tuesday. It was perhaps for the first time such a thing had happened on the ground, for India's most successful captain.
There were chants of "Dhoni Dhoni" at the venue when he came out to bat. At the toss, he had thanked them for coming to watch him.
"Thanks to all of them. They have been behind me for a long time since 2007. Good for them to turn up (in large numbers). The fact that they have turned up for a warm-up game shows they love me. It is a good feeling. At the end of day you want fans to love you," Dhoni had said at the toss.
One of the greatest captains in the limited overs format, Dhoni will now be seen only as a player in Indian blue jersey. He will continue to keep wickets, starting with the home series against England this Sunday (January 15) in Pune.
Dhoni, in the twilight of his career, might experience few more "God" like moments.