Mumbai, April 1: Australian scribe Sam Ferris, who was at the receiving end of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's sarcasm-laden jibe for asking about his future plans in international cricket, shared his experience of being invited on the dais by the India skipper.
In an unusual move, Dhoni invited Cricket Australia reporter Ferris to sit alongside him after the scribe asked him if he was going to retire immediately after India were knocked out of the World T20 by West Indies last night (March 31).
"If you had told me that by the end of the night, after watching a stunning West Indies run chase in the World T20 semi-final, that I would share the press conference table with India captain MS Dhoni and end up on every TV news bulletin in the country, I would have flat out called you a lunatic," Ferris wrote on 'cricket.com.au' website.
"I thought it was a pretty standard question to be fair. When Dhoni shocked the world with his Test retirement out of nowhere after the 2014 Boxing Day Test at the MCG, it caught everybody off-guard," Ferris said.
The scribe added, "With that in mind, I was sure he would get asked again if he was going to retire from limited-overs cricket. And it's not like at 34 years old hasn't achieved anything in white-ball cricket; he won the inaugural World T20 in 2007 in South Africa, hit the winning runs, a six no less, to win the 2011 50-over World Cup on home soil, and to complete the trifecta, took out the 2013 Champions Trophy in England."
Narrating the sequence of events, Ferris said, "An invitation to come join him (Dhoni) on stage. At first I politely decline, but he insists. Who am I to turn down India's greatest-ever captain? "I'm welcomed with a warm embrace, a sympathetic arm around my shoulder and a crisp white smile, the same smile I've seen on a dozen commercials featuring Dhoni on Indian television selling a vast range of products," he added.
"Word has it Dhoni hates that question and was ready to pounce on an Indian journalist who was going to ask it. Even though I fired the wrong ammunition, it seems I took a bullet for my Indian colleagues."