India and Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known for his daring innovations, both with the bat and with his hairstyle ever since he made his debut against Bangladesh nearly a decade ago. And Dhoni was seen sporting a new hairstyle while leading Chennai Super Kings against South African side Titans in a Champions League Twenty20 match in Ranchi on Sunday.
Dhoni, who had long hairs when he burst onto the cricket scene about a decade back, decided to go in for a style similar to mohawk, once made famous by star England striker David Beckham.
From long locks to cropped hair, the different styles that Dhoni had sported have become a style statement with youngsters, not only in his hometown Ranchi but all over the country.
A smashing whirlwind century against arch-rival Pakistan in an ODI in Visakhapatnam a few years ago catapulted Dhoni into centrestage and with it his long locks also became the talking point among youngsters.
Every time Dhoni came to Ranchi, he had his hair cut at the Kaya Salon, attracting hundreds of fans and the police had a tough time controlling the crowd. In fact, in November 2006, the then Ranchi Superintendent of Police, Akhilesh Kumar Jha, had to request Dhoni to inform the police before he visited the salon.
When Pervez Musharraf was the president of Pakistan he had commented on Dhoni's hairstyle, during a post-match speech. "I saw a placard asking you to have a haircut. But (if) you want my opinion, you look good this way and don't need a haircut," Musharraf had said.
Chanchal Bhattacharya, one of Dhoni's coaches during his formative years, said: "The latest mohawk is his fourth hairstyle. When I saw him first in school, he had a close-cropped hair as any other school boy. He has become an icon now, and fans love all his styles."
Dhoni's former local teammate Ajay Kumar observed: "His father used to get annoyed at Dhoni's long hair. But he once told us that this long hair style will one day bring him fame."