Mumbai, April 3: It is a proverbial rags to riches story, an epic tale of M S Dhoni's scaling from obscurity to fame and fame ten times over. The man that is being lauded and showered with compliments and accolades and gifts and special recognition for leading his side to lifting the cricket World Cup, was once a lowly ticket collector.
Indeed, Mahi has gone from TC to "WC" (i.e. World Champion) and from checking train-commuter's tickets has turned one of the biggest ticket draws in the cricketing world. While, his former colleagues Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh's stars of fortune were on the rise, Dhoni was yet to make his bones. As a shy 20-year old in 2001, he landed a job with South Eastern Railways at West Bengal's Kharagpur. The rest was history...
The divisional railway manager at the time, Animesh Kumar Ganguly was on the lookout for a wicket-keepr batsman for his Railways team and put Dhoni to the test for the job."Ganguly took Mahi to the South Eastern Railway Sports Association stadium, bowled him 60 balls and came back satisfied. Dhoni got the job in sports quota,'' said a nostalgic Siddhartha Chatterjee. He was the captain when Dhoni played for a local club.
Kharagpur is abuzz with similar stories to tell about the "discovery" of Dhoni throughout the night following India's World Cup triumph. But the town that in sense made him, bade him an abrupt farewell in 2003 when he started getting calls to join the big boys of Team India. A few years ago he came to Kharagpur for a whiff of nostalgia amidst old friends. ''That was the last time he was here. We all stole into a train compartment and had dinner,'' said a pal.