The Mahi Way: Why MS Dhoni and Sakshi Dhoni remain the most talked-about cricket couple
They got married in 2010. Yet, every photo Sakshi Dhoni posts on her Instagram finds a way to controversy. Even now!
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The day India played its debut match in the World Cup against South Africa, Sakshi Dhoni posted a few photographs as her Instagram stories.
It didn’t take much time to escalate from there.
Were the WAGs of the Indian players allowed? Didn’t BCCI rule that wives and girlfriends of Indian players can accompany them only 21 days after the tournament begins? Yes, hurried calculations, followed by speculation, started on whether MS Dhoni would be penalised for this or not.
Cricketers and their love interests are always the talk of the town — but almost a decade after their marriage?
No, we don’t come across such stories every day.
And there are reasons why we are so interested in Dhoni’s life, and in Sakshi.
The wedding which came out of the blue. (Photo: PTI)
A strong, silent Dhoni
All those who have watched MS Dhoni, the biopic starring Sushant Singh Rajput, know that Dhoni was reportedly in a relationship with a schoolmate who, in 2002, died in an accident. Dhoni was apparently deeply shaken and stayed away from cricket for six months. It was a very dark period in his life.
Five years later, he became captain of the Indian team, in the limited-overs format.
In 2010, he got married to Sakshi — but there was always speculation about his earlier love interest, and whether that remained a source of inspiration.
In an age where celebrities need little more than a cup of coffee to spill their souls before the world, Dhoni has remained resolutely tight-lipped about all these musings. And thus, he has only generated more.
Wearing one's heart on one's sleeves... err, one's neck. (Photo: Twitter)
A Bollywood-style romance?
Cricket and Bollywood, of course, go hand in hand. In Mahi’s life, too, there were frenzied link-ups between him and popular stars. But it’s said that his wedding to Sakshi took a leaf right out of a Bollywood movie.
Dhoni was apparently Sakshi’s school senior and both their dads reportedly used to work together. So, they did know each other from childhood — but met after a long gap in 2007, in Kolkata’s Taj Bengal hotel. Sakshi was working as an intern in the hotel where the Indian team was lodged. It’s believed that Dhoni reportedly asked his manager for Sakshi's number and messaged her — Sakshi thought it was a prank.
The duo began dating in 2008 and tied the knot in 2010.
The relationship was kept a secret and Mahi’s wedding came as a total surprise.
From shoelace to bracelet: They make news just by existing. Together. (Photo: Instagram)
There’s absolutely no logic as to why people start bashing on the wives of players for the poor performance of the cricketers. We have seen the ugliest face of this regressive mindset when Anushka Sharma had to bear the brunt of Virat Kohli’s dipping performance.
But somehow, Sakshi is believed to be Mahi’s 'lucky charm'. And many of us feel happy repeating that ad nauseum, apparently unaware of the darker side to such suppositions.
Learning to bend...
When Ziva — social media's new charm — was born in 2015, Dhoni was prepping for the ICC World Cup. He was not carrying a phone. Sakshi had to reportedly contact fellow cricketer Suresh Raina to convey the message to Dhoni.
But despite the charms of his love life, the famously determined and strong-willed Dhoni apparently made it clear to those who know him that his first priority will always be cricket, followed by his parents, and then Sakshi.
That this 'tough-man love' has retained its flavour, but also bloomed into a relationship clearly of equals, with an adoring Dhoni often seen showering his wife with very romantic attention, is the reason, in a nutshell, why Mahi-Sakshi remains an agelessly intriguing story.