Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter to the recently retired MS Dhoni, praising his career and his contribution to Indian cricket.
The prime minister praised Dhoni for his achievements as well as his meteoric rise from humble beginnings.
"But, the name Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not be remembered merely for his career statistics or specific match-winning roles. Looking at you as just a sportsperson would be injustice," PM Modi wrote in the letter. "The correct way to assess your impact is as a phenomenon!"
"Your rise and conduct thereafter gives strength and inspiration to crores of youngsters who like you have not been to cushy schools or colleges, neither do they belong to illustrious families but they have the talent to distinguish themselves at the highest levels," he added.
"You have been one of the important illustrations of the spirit of New India, where family name does not make young people's destiny but they make their own names and destinies," Modi wrote.
"Where we come from does not matter as long as we know where we are headed - this is the spirit that you have exuded and inspired many youngsters with," he added.
Dhoni posted the letter on social media with a message thanking the prime minister, saying, “An Artist,Soldier and Sportsperson what they crave for is appreciation, that their hard work and sacrifice is getting noticed and appreciated by everyone.thanks PM @narendramodi for your appreciation and good wishes.”
Dhoni had announced his retirement from international cricket via an Instagram post on August 15. He will next be seen leading the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.