Monday, October 22, 2007

The hair apparent

I was going through the stories and reports I'd filed in the past. I came across a report of a press conference last year in March, Mumbai.

Reading it today, I quite liked it. It was also the first and last time I met MS Dhoni, who was nonchalance personified even then.

Here's the full text of the report.
MS Dhoni's hair seems to have a celebrity status of its own now. Hence it wasn't surprising when more queries about his long locks than his cricket skills were posed at a press meet here on Thursday, where he was awarded the brand ambassadorship for a leading petrochemical firm.

However, the dashing keeper-bat replied to all those questions with trademark nonchalance. Momentarily, it seemed Javed Habib, and not a cricketer, was addressing the meet, forgetting that the city was hosting a Test match on Saturday.

Sample this.

Question: 'Mahendra, have you changed your hair colour?'

Dhoni's reply: Yes, I've changed it back to a darker shade of black. Holi khel nahi paya to socha ki baalon ke saath hi Holi khel lu. '

Audience: (Giggle giggle).

When someone had the humour to drag the topic back to cricket, Dhoni talked with great fondness for his stumping of Steve Harmison in the Mohali Test.

"Harmison is about 6'6", he said. "And so he blocks your vision especially when you're collecting the ball down the leg. That particular stumping was purely by anticipation and I was very happy with it."

When asked how he was preparing for the Mumbai game, Dhoni said, "I've not yet played a day game here. I was here for a one-dayer (against South Africa in November). The Mumbai track here is expected to turn and this would pose a challenge for me as a 'keeper. It would be a challenge keeping to Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble."

He played down all comparisons of him with Australian trailblazer Adam Gilchrist. "International cricket has its pressures but I'd like to play my game as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, not anyone else," he said.

And the news? Bharat Petroleum Corporation has signed Dhoni for two years. "For an undisclosed sum," Dhoni elaborated, dispatching another one back to where it came from.

No comments: