England cricketer Sam Billings recalled his two-year stint with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and revealed how he struck a relationship with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni over their love for Premier League club Manchester United.
Billings stated rubbing shoulders with some of the best Indian and foreign players in the CSK dressing room was a big learning curve for him, especially watching Dhoni from close quarters, as to how he approaches the game.
“For me, that experience, learning from those great players, the overseas guys but also the homegrown Indian stars. I mean, no bigger star than MS Dhoni in terms of my role that I want to fulfil,” Billings told Cricbuzz in a video uploaded on their website.
“There is no better person to learn of than MSD. For me, it was great to pick his brains and enjoy the environment he has created there,” he added.
Billings also revealed he struck a bond with Dhoni over Manchester United. Dhoni’s love for the ‘Beautiful Game’ is widely known and Billings stated all the United fans in the CSK team used to match football matches in Dhoni’s room.
“He is a big Man United fan, which really helps, as am I. He always invited me, there’s a few Man United fans around. So whenever the game was on, we used to go to his room and watch there,” Billings said.
“It was pretty cool just to talk about cricket and learn of him really, and see how he goes about his business, whether it’s practice or in games.”
Billings won’t be part of the 2020 edition of the IPL, to be played between September 19 to November 10 in the UAE, as he had withdrawn his name from the auction in December 2019 to focus on County cricket.