New Delhi: In his latest video on his YouTube channel “Aakash Vani”, an ex-cricketer, now a commentator, Aakash Chopra recalls the time he shared with Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Dhoni celebrates 39th birthday
As Dhoni celebrates his 39th birthday, Aakash travels down memory lane to recall the incident from 2004 during India A’s tour to Zimbabwe and Kenya when Aakash, a Test Opener and his junior MS Dhoni were roommates. When Aakash would ask what he’d like to eat, Dhoni would want whatever was being ordered. When asked when he’d sleep, he’d reply, whenever the lights would be switched off.
“To say frankly I had not expected such cordiality from this long-haired cool dude. I had thought he would say, “you leave it, I will only order” or “I sleep late you can put the bedsheet on your face and sleep”. the former batsman Aakash comments.
Aakash further adds that he has seen a lot of cricketers in his cricket career of more than two decades, who would either be focused only on the game or were interested in the fame. While some would work hard to climb the ladder of success others were struck by fashion. But Aakash found Dhoni very unique.
“He had long golden hair, white sunscreen on the face and branded goggles over his eyes. If you glance at him, you would ask him to move aside as this was a cricket ground and not a Bollywood set. But here only he surprises you, like he did to me, his own roommate”. Exclaims the former batsman. One may mistake simplicity for under confidence. But this is not the case for Dhoni. “Inke dikhane ke daant aur khane ke daant kuch aur hain” (His looks are deceptive) says Aakash.
He further recalls the time when he asked Dhoni to cut his hair off or else people might not consider him as a serious cricketer. But Dhoni responded saying, “I am not cutting my hair, probably people might grow their hair after seeing me”
Dhoni proved his critics wrong
If one tries to remember, a lot of conversation had taken place when Mahedra Singh Dhoni started his cricket career. Everyone doubted whether he could even make a mark in the sport. To everyone’s surprise, Dhoni kept piling runs and winning matches to prove his critics wrong. In fact, when he led the Indian cricket team for the T20 World Cup in 2007, all of his fans were seen imitating his hairstyle!
Aakash added, “it is said that Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf had also asked him not to cut his hair. We bow to Dhoni, to his talk, and his confidence. Nowadays, in every nook and corner we see a Dhoni‘s haircut.
Dhoni is India’s only two-time World Cup winning captain, leading the team to victory on two occasions which involved two different formats. He led a young Indian team to the first ever T20 World Cup victory in South Africa in 2007. Dhoni then led India to their second One Day International (ODI) World Cup victory in 2011. He was also awarded man of the match in the finals against Sri Lanka for his score of 91 not out. The bat which was used by Dhoni in the final match was auctioned for a whopping ₹ 72 Lac. The entire sum of money went to Sakshi Rawat Foundation which was operated by Dhoni’s wife Sakshi Rawat to help orphan children.