I guess there is not a single person in India who doesn’t know M.S. Dhoni. Every cricket fan knows his all his records and achievements but interesting there still some stories about this great man which many people are unaware of.
Today we would try to tell you about these little-known stories about the man who gave us our first world cup after 28 long years.
1. The story of his first coach and mentor Keshav Ranjan Banerjee.
Every cricket fan knows about Ramakant Acherekar, the man who mentored the great Sachin Tendulkar. But very few people know about Captain Cool’s first cricket coach and mentor. Keshav Ranjan Banerjee is often considered as the man who made Dhoni a cricketer from a goalkeeper.
Banerjee was a senior sports teacher at the Jawahar Vidya Mandir School Ranchi were Dhoni used to study. The year was 1993 when he first spotted Dhoni when the future Indian captain was playing in a football match as a goalkeeper.
He was very impressed with his performance and thought that he had the perfect skills to become a good wicketkeeper.
Another reason why Banerjee wanted Dhoni to try his hands at wicket-keeping was that the regular wicketkeeper was not present. It was a decision that not only changed Dhoni’s life but also the fate of Indian cricket. Little did Banerjee know that he was not inviting any another boy to keep wickets for the school team but he was inviting a guy, who would go on to become one of the best wicketkeepers the world has ever seen.
Banerjee admits that his wicketkeeping was not always flawless but it was his guidance and the player’s dedication that made him the keeper we know today.
It is said that because of playing a lot of tennis-ball cricket, Dhoni had already mastered his trademark shots like the helicopter shot, that round of the bat, and the paddle sweep. Banerjee never asked him to remodel his unorthodox batting technique as he felt one should not tamper natural talent. Well, today we all know how right he was.
2. The story of his best friend Paramjit Singh.
Dhoni’s journey from a local school goalkeeper to one of the finest wicketkeeper’s in the world was not an easy one. I guess, if there was no Paramjit Singh, there would have been no M.S. Dhoni. Even today, Dhoni considers him as his best friend. It is said that it was he who helped Dhoni land his first bat contract way back in 2000, even before Mahi made his Ranji debut. But that is not the reason why we should be thankful to him.
It is said that it was he who got the news of Dhoni’s selection in the East Zone Team. The first game was being played at Agartala.
Singh hired a car and drove overnight with Dhoni to reach Kolkata.
Although Mahi could not reach Agartala, but he was able to meet the team and travel with them to Pune, to play against the West Zone.
It is said that it was in this match that people noticed the talent of this young lad from Ranchi for the first time.
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3. The story of the other Ganguly and Kharagpur and his railway ticket examiner days.
We all know that it was Sourav Ganguly who gave Dhoni his first chance to represent the senior Indian team at the International level. But today we are going talk about another Ganguly, who played a very critical role in Mahi’s journey from the grounds of Ranchi to the Indian team dressing room.
The year was 2001, Dhoni then a 20-year-old boy, was desperately looking for a job to not only support his cricket but also his needy family.
As it turned out, a person called Animesh Kumar Ganguly, who was the then railway manager of the South Eastern Railway was actually looking for a wicket-keeper to build a strong cricket team for his division.
Subroto Banerjee, who was the coach of the South Eastern Railways team, told Ganguly about a young lad from Jharkhand. Ganguly wanted to test this young boy, so he took him to the cricket pitch and bowled him a few balls.
He was so impressed by Dhoni’s glovework that he immediately gave him a job of a train ticket examiner under the sports quota.
It was after this event that Dhoni started working as a train ticket examiner at the Kharagpur Railway station and started playing for the Railways. Many people consider this event as one of the most important turning points in Mahi’s career.
You might be interested to know that though he left Kharagpur years back but Kharagpur still fondly remembers him. There is an MS Dhoni Museum and if you ever visit it, you might find many memorabilia like his offer letter from the railways.
It is said that it was while he was playing for the Railways and the East Zone that Dhoni first caught Sourav Ganguly’s eyes and it was Ganguly who told the then Indian coach John Wright about a guy from Ranchi who hits the ball miles.
Soon, the selectors too noticed Dhoni’s talent and on 23rd December 2004, M.S.Dhoni played his first match in Indian colors against Bangladesh and since then the man has never looked back.