• Wednesday, March 22, 2023


When Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf gave MS Dhoni an advice over hairstyle

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf (R) shakes hands with former India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the end of a one-day international match in Pakistan in July 2008. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Pakistan’s former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf was a man who was widely known in India. He was not only born in India but also a key architect of the Kargil War against that country in 1999. But among other things, the late military-turned-civilian leader of the south Asian nation was also known for a meeting with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of India’s greatest cricketers and captains in 2006 when the Men in Blue toured Pakistan.

It was also February 17 years ago when Pakistan and India were playing in the third match of a five-match international series. Chasing a steep target of 289 in 50 overs, India were in a spot of bother when they lost half their side for 190 after Sachin Tendulkar made a brilliant 95. But Dhoni, who was 24 then and not too experienced in international cricket, came together with Yuvraj Singh and the duo added unbeaten 102 runs in 12 overs to take India home. While Singh remained not out on 79 off 97 balls, Dhoni slammed an unbeaten 72 in just 46 deliveries.

The wicket-keeper-batter, who also took three catches, was adjudged the man of the match.

Musharraf, Pakistan’s then president who was present in the post-match ceremony said, “I would, first of all, like to congratulate the Indian team for playing exceptionally well, and may I especially congratulate Dhoni for being the architect of the victory.”

After that, he spoke about Dhoni’s long locks which he cut only after winning the 2011 World Cup, “And may I tell Dhoni that I saw a placard asking you to have a haircut. But if you were to take my opinion, you look good in this haircut. Don’t have a haircut.”

The light remark made by Musharraf, one of Pakistan’s military generals who removed a democratically elected prime minister in 1999, made all laugh, including Dhoni.

India made their last tour to Pakistan for a bilateral series in 2006. They went to that country in 2008 as well under Dhoni’s captaincy but that was for the multilateral Asia Cup tournament.

Musharraf, who was suffering from amyloidosis, a rare medical condition, for a long time, passed away in a hospital in Dubai on Sunday (5).

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