An intruder runs in the ground to greet MS Dhoni during the first warm-up one day cricket match between India A and England XI at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on January 10, 2017.
An intruder runs in the ground to greet MS Dhoni during the first warm-up one-day cricket match between India A and England XI at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on January 10, 2017.

Fans can go to an unmatched extent. Shahrukh Khan’s Fan went a bit overboard but this is not about that. Fans invading playing arena is common in sports. The same was the case in India. However, with growing security over the years, these instances have become less frequent. But this is about MS Dhoni, a man capable of stirring and evoking emotions. Yes, emotions were high at Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday as Dhoni walked out to lead the blue brigade for the last time. Even if it was a warm-up tie, fan flocked to the Brabourne Stadium in massive numbers.

Amidst the buzz of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’, a spectator jumped the 10-feet fencing, breaching the high-level security to intrude the playing area. Dhoni was batting with Hardik Pandya and at first was caught off-guard. He was a bit reluctant to enter the pitch but eventually he did. Captain Cool, let us call him that, remained calm as ever as he obliged to the fan’s request of shaking hands as the latter bowed down to touch his feet. Security officials escorted the fan out and it is learnt that the fan was let off with a warning on Dhoni’s insistence.

More security personnel were employed in the North Stand fence from where the intrusion took place. Such spectacles are rare in Indian cricket these days. It was common during the Sachin Tendulkar days; perhaps Sourav Ganguly, during his IPL comeback for Pune Warriors India in 2011, matched this frenzy.

Idols in India are much more than just fandom and Dhoni embodies it.

 

Dhoni has led India to three ICC tournament wins including the World Cups in ODI and T20I format. He is India’s most successful captain and in 2009, also led the side to the pinnacle position in ICC’s Test Ranking.

The fence that the fan crossed. (Image courtesy: Devarchit Varma)
The fence that the fan crossed. (Image courtesy: Devarchit Varma)

The buzz around the ground echoed ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’. Just like the intruder, he obliged with an entertaining 40-ball 68 not out.

Meanwhile, the happy fan goes home after receiving blessings from his God, still the captain. At least, he will like to think so.