Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today recalled memories of his long association with the city and his Test debut here as he accepted the honorary membership conferred on him by the 164-year old Madras Cricket Club for his contribution to the game in the country.
"I am extremely happy and privileged to be a member of this historic age-old club, which has an history of supporting games and sport. I cherish happy memories of this venue (Chepauk) where I made my Test debut in 2005," Dhoni said after being conferred the honorary membership at the Chepauk stadium complex.
"I am privileged to be amongst many stalwarts who have shone in Indian sports, including cricket," added Dhoni, who was accompanied by his wife Sakshi Singh Rawat whom he married at a resort near Dehradun on Sunday.
Dhoni joined a select list of sportspersons who have been conferred the MCC honorary membership which include Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Viswanathan Anand and Chennai-born former England captain Nasser Hussain.
Dhoni would leave for Colombo tomorrow from here to join the other members of the Indian team which is to play a three-Test series against Sri Lanka and a tri-series, also involving New Zealand.
The other team members left for Colombo this afternoon.
Dhoni was also felicitated by Chennai Super Kings for leading the side to IPL III title.
Accepting the felicitations by MCC President TG Thyagarajan and CSK owner N Srinivasan, the wicket-keeper batsman credited the title-winning feat to the support he received from Chennai fans and cricketers from Tamil Nadu.
"Support that the Super Kings received from its fans was noteworthy besides the stupendous individual performances for the team cause by Tamil Nadu players in the team," Dhoni said.
"The achievements of CSK was due to the excellent leadership and management skills of Dhoni," Srinivasan said.
L Balaji, Hemang Badani and R Ashwin were among CSK players who attended the function.