New Delhi:If there's anything that has made news out of the ordinary in the cricket field in the past few years, it's Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 'mane'.
The 'goldilocks' of Indian cricket has earned a lot of accolades for his flamboyant batting, oodles of attitude and dexterous wicket-keeping. It has not only endeared him to lovers of the game but have all set a lot of feminine hearts aflutter.
I have myself witnessed teeny-boppers going wild with excitement every time Dhoni, wielding his bat ala a heroic character from Greek/Roman mythology, would swing it for a four or a six. I could almost see the hearts of girls flying away with the ball.
No wonder all the boys made a beeline for a cool-dude haircut 'inspired' by none other then the boy from Jharkhand.
I couldn't help but smile when while passing through a few bylanes, I came across a clutter of shanty salons, actually flashing "Dhoni hairstyle available here' placards, to invite customers.
And if you thought the mane was popular only among the bourgeoisie, you stand to be corrected. Our Twenty20 captain has even transcended borders when it comes to fans of his crowning glory.
None other than Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf lauded Dhoni's hairstyle. "A lot of placards in the crowd have suggested that you should get a haircut, but if you take my advice, you look good in this hairstyle," Musharraf had told the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman in Lahore.
With such back-up, it's no surprise that the bombastic batsman is among the most sought after, for brand endorsements.
From bikes, to milk, to wrist watches, to naturally hair care and gel, Dhoni is ubiquitous on television and hoardings.
Coming at a time when Indian cricket was looking for someone who could not just shoulder responsibility of batting with Dravid, Sachin and Sourav, but also add that 'zing' in the sport, Dhoni fitted the bill just fine.
With his swashbuckling hits, indomitable confidence and inspirational team spirit, the charismatic cricketer seemed just what the doctor ordered for the Indian team.
Add to this his charming smile, his carefree swagger that boasts of loads of attitude and you realize why Dhoni is "hair" to stay.