IPL 2017: Fan jumps fence to fall at MS Dhoni's feet for autograph, only to lose it later
Kandivli-based Rakesh Patekar, who jumped over the fence to meet MS Dhoni, caught the cricketer unawares when he fell at his feet. He was later taken to the control room for questioning after Dhoni obliged with an autograph. Pics/Suresh Karkera
There's no such thing as mixed feelings for a die-hard fan. But, for Rakesh Patekar, an ardent admirer of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Tuesday night was a mixed bag. Patekar (25) watched the IPLâÂÂÂÂÂÂQualifier 1 from Wankhede's North Stand. He couldn't get his eyes off his hero, especially when Dhoni slammed Mumbai Indian bowlers into the stands.
MS Dhoni obliged the fan with his autograph.
His thrill did not end when Dhoni stayed unbeaten with 26-ball 40 in Pune's impressive total of 162 in the stipulated 20 overs. Out came the former India captain to keep wicket and virtually perform a captain's job in marshalling the fielders as Steven Smith's Pune ended up restricting Mumbai Indians to 142 for nine for a 20-run win.
Moments after that victory, something snapped inside Patekar's head. Instead of cheering for MS Dhoni and the team from the stands, Patekar baffled spectators as he jumped over the fence to greet his hero. He found no resistance when he sprinted on the turf towards Dhoni, who was on his way to the pavilion.
Catching the cricketer unawares, Patekar fell at his cricket icon's feet and then requested for a selfie. The former skipper didn't oblige with a pose, but signed Patekar's notebook even as volunteers, waiting to tackle Patekar, stood amazed. After Dhoni departed, four volunteers (cricketers employed with the Mumbai police) took the post-match intruder to the far end of the ground and questioned him inside the control room.
The scramble afterwards saw the fan lose the autograph
Once the policemen were convinced that Patekar was a genuine fan - he had paid Rs 2,500 for his North Stand seat, he was asked to leave. But, while leaving, Patekar realised that he had lost his autograph book. "I am satisfied that I met my hero. But, on the other hand, I lost the autograph he gave me. I promised the policemen that I would never jump over the fence again, but I am deeply saddened about losing Dhoni's autograph," Patekar told mid-day.
His Wankhede departure was made special when one of the volunteers ensured he was on a train back home with a proper ticket, while he brooded over his lost autograph.
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