Read: 32 facts about 'Mahi' on his 32nd birthday

New Delhi, Tarun Sharda | Updated : 06 July 2013, 11:00 PM

Happy Birthday Mahi...

Call him what you like Captain Cool, Mahi, MSD or Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he is the one responsible for millions of smiles in the country. He has an amazingly enigmatic, delightful yet wilful attitude which has helped him infuse an undying urge to win in his team.

Apart from being a big fan of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and Adam Gilchrist he is admired for his patience and unwearied decision making powers.

He played his first ODI on 23rd Nov, 2004 vs Bangladesh and first Test on 2nd Dec, 2005 vs Sri Lanka.

On his 32nd birthday let’s have a look at 32, some well-known and some not so celebrated facts about him.

1. MSD was born on July 7, 1981 to Devaki Devi and Pan Singh, in the eastern city of Ranchi in a Rajput family. His paternal village Lvali is in the Lamgarha block of the Almora District in Uttarakhand.

2. Dhoni's parents, moved from Uttarakhand to Ranchi where Pan Singh worked in junior management positions in MECON. Dhoni has a sister Jayanti and a brother Narendra.

3. Dhoni studied at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir School in Ranchi where he initially excelled in badminton and football. Dhoni was a goalkeeper for his football team and was sent to play cricket for a local cricket club by his football coach. And rest is history.

4. Though he had not played cricket, Dhoni impressed with his wicket-keeping skills and became the regular wicketkeeper at the Commando cricket club (1995–1998). Based on his performance at club cricket, he was picked for the 1997/98 season Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship and he performed well. Dhoni focused on cricket after his 10th standard.

5. Dhoni was included in the Bihar U-19 squad for the 1998/99 season and scored 176 runs in 5 matches (7 innings) as the team finished fourth in the group of six and did not make it to the quarter finals. Dhoni was not picked for the East Zone U-19 squad (CK Nayudu Trophy) and Rest of India squad (MA Chidambaram Trophy and Vinoo Mankad Trophy).

6. Dhoni made his Ranji Trophy debut for Bihar in the 1999–2000 season as an eighteen year old. He made a half century in his debut match scoring 68 in the second innings against Assam cricket team. Dhoni finished the season with 283 runs in 5 matches.

7. Dhoni married Sakshi Rawat on July 04, 2010. At the time of their marriage, she was studying Hotel Management and was working as a trainee at the Taj Bengal, Kolkata. Both, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sakshi were school time friends and had studied together at DAV School and their families also have very good relation. Dhoni’s father worked with Sakshi’s father in MECON, Ranchi. 

8. He loves bikes. A Hummer to add to many cars and motorcycles is already parked in his garage in Ranchi. He endorses 15 brands from clothes to cold drinks. He is also one of the highest income tax payers in the country.

9. The TIME magazine had added Dhoni in its "Time 100" list of 100 most influential people of 2011. According to the SportsPro magazine Dhoni is 10th most valuable brand in field of sports worldwide and number 1 among all Asian superstars.

10. Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has pipped the likes of 'Sprint King' Usain Bolt, tennis ace Novak Djokovic and teammate Sachin Tendulkar in the latest list of world's 100 richest sportspersons, released by the Forbes magazine.

11. Dhoni topped the list of world’s top 10 earning cricketers compiled by Forbes. In June 2013, Forbes ranked Dhoni at 16th in the list of highest paid athletes in the world, estimating his earnings at USD 31.5 million. 

12. In the 2003/04 season, Dhoni scored a century (128) against Assam in the first match of the Ranji ODI trophy. He was part of the East Zone squad that won the Deodhar Trophy for the year and contributed with 244 runs in 4 matches. In the Duleep Trophy finals, Dhoni was picked over International cricketer Deep Dasgupta to represent East zone. He scored a fighting half century in the second innings in a losing cause.

13. The future captain was discovered via the BCCI's small-town talent-spotting initiative TRDW. Dhoni was discovered by TRDO PC Podar, captain of Bengal in the 1960s, when he saw Dhoni play for Jharkhand at a match in Jamshedpur in 2003, and sent a report to the National Cricket Academy.

14. Dhoni making a mark in the India-A squad, was picked in the ODI squad for the Bangladesh tour in 2004/05. Dhoni did not have a great start to his ODI career, getting run out for a duck on debut. In spite of below par series against Bangladesh, Dhoni was picked for the Pakistan ODI series and he scored match winning 148 in the 2nd tie of the series at Visakhapatnam.

15. Dhoni's maiden century against Pakistan in Test in Faisalabad (148) is the fastest century scored by an Indian wicket keeper. Only three centuries by two players (Kamran Akmal and Adam Gilchrist – 2) were faster than Dhoni's 93 ball century.

16. On 31 October 2005 Dhoni scored 183 runs off just 145 balls against Sri Lanka in ODI in Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, which is the highest score made by any batsman in the second innings (surpassing Lara's previous record of 153).

17. In June 2007, Dhoni (139) and Mahela Jayawardene (107) set a new world record for the sixth wicket partnership of 218 runs against Africa XI during the Afro-Asia Cup.

18. Under MSD’s captaincy, India defeated Australia by 320 runs on 21st October, 08, biggest ever win in terms of runs for India in Test.

19. MSD was given the job of leading team India for the first time in 2007, T20WC. India beat Pakistan in the nail biting final to win the inaugural trophy.

20. Dhoni holds the record for most catches by an Indian player in an innings. He achieved this feat by taking six catches during the first innings of the third test against New Zealand in Wellington in April 2009.

21. Under his captaincy, India reached their highest Test score of 726–9 (decl) during Sri Lanka's tour of India in Dec, 2009. Their 2–0 victory in the series took them to the number 1 ranking in Test cricket for the first time in history.

22. Under Dhoni's captaincy, India did not lose a Test match until the first Test versus South Africa in Nagpur in Feb 2010. As a captain, he holds a record for longest unbeaten run in Tests from his debut, 11 Tests (8 wins and 3 draws).

23. Among captains who have led in at least 25 Tests, MS Dhoni has the best win-loss ratio (5.00). He is followed by Steve Waugh (4.55) and Mike Brearley (4.50). Dhoni has now led in five away-Test wins bringing him joint-second on the list of Indian captains with most wins in away Tests.

24. MS Dhoni signed with Kolkata-based celebrity management company Gameplan Sports in April 2005and later in July, 2010 he signed Rs 200 crore deal with Rhiti Sports. Currently Dhoni is endorsing 20 products.

25. Under Dhoni's captaincy India became the first team after a gap of more than 20 Years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. Dhoni also led the Indian team to the number one position in ICC rankings in Test cricket for the first time.

26. Dhoni was named as captain of Wisden's first-ever Dream Test XI Team in 2009.

27. His Test, ODI record is best among all the Indian captains to date. He also captained Chennai Super Kings to victory in IPL 2010, 2011 and in the 2010 Champions League.

28. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, CB Series of 2007–08 , the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008 and 2010 against Australia 2–0, 2011 Cricket World Cup and recently won last Champions Trophy  in England without losing a single match.

29. With 2007 ICC T20 WC, 2011 World Cup and 2013, Champions Thophy under his belt Dhoni become the only captain to have won all the ICC championships.

30. Dhoni has also been the recipient of many awards including the ICC ODI Player of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009 (the first Indian player to achieve this feat), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour in 2009.

31. Captain cool MS Dhoni was conferred the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army by Army Chief General V K Singh in November, 2011 for his outstanding contribution in the field of sports and commitment to Army on various occasions.

32. As a note of respect MS Dhoni asked Sourav Ganguly to lead Indian team in his last match, Ganguly led India on the fifth day of the 4th Test match in Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Nagpur on 10th Nov, 2008.

First Published: Saturday, July 06, 2013 05:53 PM
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