RaGa was seen riding on a scooty driven by a lady Mimansha Upadhyay on Jaipur streets
Jaipur, the Pink City that turned into yellow to welcome a wicket-keeper-batsman was disappointed by the guest. The SMS Stadium here resonated with chants of “Dhoni-Dhoni-India” in anticipation of the arrival of the former Indian captain and cricket legend, MS Dhoni during an entire match with thousands his fans waiting with bated breaths.
But they neither saw his ‘helicopter shots’ on the crease of cricket pitch nor his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team could win against Rajasthan Royals (RR) last night. The RR maintained its 102 victory by defeating the CSK by 32 runs in the 37-IPL cricket match and it is the first team to score 202 runs at SMS stadium.
In the second half, when the CSK started pursuing a target of 203 runs against the RR, Dhoni’s turn to bat was seventh, but CSK’s sixth batsman Moeen Ali was caught by Sanju Samson (RR) on the last ball of the last over. Dhoni, who was seen waiting to come on the field by wearing a cricket helmet and holding his bat in his hand to play (as his turn was expected), had no option but to take off his helmet in despair.
Every T-shirt, every cap and every flag was yellow embossed with number “7” embossed on it. Thousands of Dhoni fans, including boys and girls, were seen waving small yellow flags shouting “Dhoni-Dhoni-India”. Many of them were also carrying small to big image posters and hoardings of Dhoni.
As the CSK was asked to take to fielding first by the RR who won the toss, Dhoni was seen behind the wickets as keeper. Left-hand batter of the RR Yashasvi Jaiswal’s aggressive batting up to 77 runs as the opening batsman also saddened Dhoni’s fans, who were expecting good catches and bowl out scenes in the indoor stadium.
Yellow T-shirts were sold out at SMS gates up for Rs 300 to 500 per piece. A group of fans from Chennai wearing yellow dress also joined the jam-packed stadium. A few of them entered the gate dancing to the tune of “Mera Iklota Pyaar MS Dhoni” . This was said to be the second match of Dhoni at SMS stadium after 2019.
The Dhoni craze was so apparent that the RCA or IPL did not throw open complimentary passes to senior IAS, IPS (maintaining law & order, crime), and functionaries of RCA, and ministers to generate maximum revenue. When contacted, a senior IPS officer at the police headquarters sent a text: “Sorry dear, no complimentary pass due to Dhoni”.
Even the IPL/RCA/RR media authorities were reported saying, “Please leave us this time, will consider the next three matches of IPL at SMS”.
Meanwhile, on the eve of RR Vs CSK match, Yashasvi Jaiswal, RR’s opening batter, told an evening presser here on ground, “I can understand the fans’ feelings towards Dhoni. He is liked by even the opposing team and their supporters. I also enjoy Dhoni’s game as I am also a big fan of his. However, we must take that in our stride and concentrate on our performance. In the last match, we got overwhelming support from the Jaipur crowd, and I am hoping they would continue to cheer us despite Dhoni’s presence on the ground”.