Feature

Bowled out

Brand Dhoni is super big business but is Mahi overstretched?

Vishal Koul

There is a boy. We run for cover to shield our bones when we bowl at him in the nets,” Arun Pandey would come back from a cricket camp with this story to tell his Lodhi Colony roomies in Delhi. The year was 1999. Indian cricket fans had been cruelly disappointed at the World Cup yet again. Pandey recalls his friends laughing in disbelief, clueless that the hard-hitting ‘boy’— the 18-year-old Mahendra Singh Dhoni — was to magnificently end the nation’s despair just two World Cups later.