Mahendra Singh Dhoni
(popularly called Mahi) has always been my favorite
amongst the contemporary Indian cricketers.
Here's wishing him a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
and also a happy married life... as he has tied the knot
with his childhood friend and girlfriend of two years, Sakshi Singh Rawat
just three days back!
for the readers of my blog, here's
looking at some of the Dhoni facts:
As a youngster, Dhoni excelled in badminton and football
and was selected at district and club level in these sports!
In his student days, he used to be the goalkeeper for his football team
and, as luck would have it, was sent to play cricket for
a local cricket club by his football coach.
Based on his performance at club cricket, Dhoni was picked
for Vinoo Mankad Under-16 Championship Trophy and he performed well.
He debuted for Bihar in 1998-99 season.
Subsequently, was selected to represent India-A in 2004,
as right-handed batsman-cum-wicketkeeper.
Made his India debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka in December 2004,
and, in 2005, against Sri Lanka, he set a world record for the highest score ever by a wicketkeeper.
He became No.1 ODI batsman on 20 April, 2006, replacing Ricky Ponting.
Was named ODI vice-captain of Team India, on tour of England in June 2007
and on September 2, 2007, he equalled Adam Gilchrist’s record
of most dismissals in an ODI (5 catches, 1 stumping).
He became the captain for Team India for the World T20 in Sept 2007,
and with his spirited leadership, boosted India to the ICC World T20 trophy, in South Africa, winning over Pakistan in an intensely fought final.
Mahi made his Test captaincy debut against South Africa in April 2008.
His latest cricketing triumph as the skipper has been
laying hands on the coveted Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, last month.
May he win many more laurels in the days to come.
And here comes more Dhoni trivia:
Dhoni was born in Ranchi, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), and his paternal village is Lvali in the Lamgarha block of the Almora district of Uttarakhand.
He has a sister, Jayanti, and a brother, Narendra.
Dhoni happens to be one of the most popular sports icon in the country whose popularity can only be rivalled by that of Sachin Tendulkar - the 'master-blaster', and Sourav Ganguly, in cricket, Leander Paes in tennis, and Vijender Singh, in boxing.
He has been hailed as a youth icon of the nation, and his flamboyant hairstyle gets special coverage in the tabloids!
Initially, he used to sport long hair, that received a special mention by the then Pak President Pervez Musharraf!
Dhoni has a great camaraderie with almost all his fellow teammates, especially Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, R. P. Singh and Zaheer Khan.
The tabloids went abuzz with the rumors of Dhoni dating actresses Deepika Padukone and Lakshmi Rai in the past, but it seems, in retrospect, that those matches were hardly meant to be.
He loves bikes, much like his current buddy John Abraham, the actor.
He supposedly has a Hummer alongwith the four cars, and 23 high-speed motorcycles, already parked in his garage in Ranchi.
He endorses about 20 brands - from clothes to soft drinks!
No wonder, he was named as one of the highest income-tax payers last year.
He is a self-proclaimed fan of Amitabh Bachchan and Lata Mangeshkar,
apart from his cricketing idols Adam Gilchrist and Sachin Tendulkar.
A renowned dog-lover, Dhoni is too fond of his pets.