Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has revealed an interesting nugget about MS Dhoni’s habit of snubbing business class on chartered flights during domestic matches.

Gavaskar said that the Indian cricket team has a system of rewarding its top-performing players – by giving those the option to take up one of the limited business class seats in domestic flights. However, Dhoni, despite being captain, used to prefer sitting with the TV crew in the economy class as his reward.

“The Indian team has a lovely system of rewarding its players especially in home matches,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for mid-day. “As most Indian cricket followers know, during the Indian domestic international season, both teams travel in a special chartered flight from one venue to the next. The flight also carries the technical TV crew who have to rig the cables for the next game. There are limited seats in business class and the captains, coaches and managers of the teams get these. It is here that those Indian players, who have done well in their previous game, get to sit there as a reward rather than the economy class behind.”

“Mahendra Singh Dhoni hardly ever sat in business class on these flights even when he was the skipper as he would prefer to sit with the real champs of the TV coverage, the cameramen and the sound engineers,” he added.

Even the current India captain Virat Kohli has done so in the past, giving up his prime business class seat to his pace bowlers during the tour of Australia in 2018-19. “Virat Kohli has also sat in the economy sector to give his seat to the bowlers who had bowled India to a win in a just- concluded match. These are simple gestures but they go a long way in building team spirit,” Gavaskar wrote.