It took quite a lot of people by surprise yesterday when the Pakistani fast bowler Haris Rauf posted on twitter that the former Indian captain MS Dhoni has sent him a personally signed jersey of Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The fans of both sides were left wondering why all of a sudden Dhoni sent the jersey to Haris Rauf and that too at a time when the relations between India and Pakistan are not great.
A Pakistani journalist named Abdul Ghaffar has now revealed the inside story why Dhoni actually sent the jersey. In a video uploaded on YouTube, Ghaffar said that he talked to Sameen Rana who is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lahore Qalandars, a team which Haris Rauf represents in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
According to Ghaffar, Sameen Rana told him that Haris Rauf himself had requested to MS Dhoni for an autographed jersey, when the two of them met last year during the T20 World Cup game between India and Pakistan. Dhoni was there as the mentor of the Indian team and he didn’t have a jersey to gift Rauf at that time. So, he promised Rauf he would send him a jersey later, a promise that he fulfilled by sending Rauf the jersey yesterday.
Dhoni sent Rauf the jersey through Russell Radhakrishnan, who is not only the manager of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL, but he also manages Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL). Haris Rauf is currently featuring in the BBL for Melbourne Stars and it was there in Australia that Russell Radhakrishnan gave him the jersey personally signed by Dhoni.
— Russell (@russcsk) January 7, 2022
A lot of young Pakistani players, including Haris Rauf, idolise Dhoni
Dhoni is receiving accolades in both countries for his goodwill gesture of sending the jersey to Rauf. A lot of young Pakistani cricketers idolise Dhoni for the stellar career he has had in India jersey, not just as a player, but as a leader as well. Recently during the T20 World Cup itself, a young Pakistani player Shahnawaz Dahani had posted a photo with Dhoni after the India Vs Pakistan game, calling Dhoni a “dream player”.
For Haris Rauf also, it was a proud moment to receive Dhoni’s personally autographed jersey, as he said that he was honoured by this gesture of “captain cool”. Rauf is currently one of the first choice fast bowlers for Pakistan in white ball cricket.