For decades India found it difficult to have a wicketkeeper who could bat. And then one day MS Dhoni emerged onto the scene and just like that, he changed the definition of a wicketkeeper-batsman and perhaps the landscape of Indian Cricket altogether. ‘Thala’ as he is commonly known in Chennai, meaning ‘chief’, he indeed was the leader that India needed.
MS Dhoni, or Mahi as he is known commonly, turns 40 today. Having retired from the game last year, he was no less than an enigma with a fanbase so big that they could declare a nation of their own and still be one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
On his birthday, here are the five ‘not-so-common’ facts that you might not know about Captain Cool.
- Dhoni is the only wicket keeper to captain India in Test Cricket.
2. In 2013, Dhoni signed the most expensive bat sponsorship deal ever with Spartan for Rs 20 crore for a period of three years.
3. The bat that Dhoni used to win India the World Cup in the 2011 ICC World Cup final was auctioned for Rs 72 lakh and the proceeds were donated to a charitable trust that works for underprivileged children in India.
4. Apart from being a phenomenal cricketer, Dhoni also has an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army, is a qualified paratrooper and has a doctorate degree conferred upon him DeMontfort University.
5. The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup was the most socially active cricket tournament of all time. A total of 31 million tweets were made with the hashtag #CWC19. MS Dhoni interestingly was the most tweeted about player in that tournament, even though India was knocked out in the semi-finals.
Fans and the Cricket fraternity took to social media to wish the legend on his birthday. Check some wishes here: