As the news of bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death in Mumbai came on Sunday, cricket fans and cricketers in Chandigarh and Punjab remembered the actor, who played the role of MS Dhoni in the biopic, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. Rajput was a regular feature at the Indian team’s matches at IS Bindra PCA Stadium, Mohali and had also cheered Kings XI Punjab in last year’s IPL match against Delhi Capitals at the Mohali stadium.
MS Dhoni’s fan and Mohali resident, 33-year-old Ram Babu, who is often seen at the Indian team’s matches with the Indian flag, had met Rajput for the first time at Kolkata after the India-Pakistan match during the ICC T-20 World Cup in 2016. Later Babu also attended the promotions for Rajput’s movie, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, in Delhi and Jalandhar.
“I had gone to Kolkata to cheer the Indian team against Pakistan during the T-20 World Cup and Sushant sir also joined us in cheering the team. Later he got pictures clicked with us after the match. I also attended the MS Dhoni biopic promotions in Delhi and Jalandhar and he would always encourage us and saw himself as a cricket fan too. I used to call him Mahi Bhai as he had portrayed MS Dhoni’s role in the movie but he would always ask me to call him Sushant. It’s a sad day for cricket fans and we will remember him as a cricket fan too apart from being a fine human being and bollywood actor,” said Ram Babu.
Apart from watching MS Dhoni score his 61st half-century and guiding India to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the third match of the series at Mohali in October 2016, one month after the release of MS Dhoni’s biopic, Rajput had also watched Kings XI Punjab’s match against Delhi Capitals in last year’s IPL at the Mohali stadium. The actor sat with KXIP owner Preity Zinta and also posted a selfie with Zinta post the 14-run win by Kings XI Punjab.
“I had never met him but my wife met Sushant sir post the match. As cricketers, we often don’t know who is watching the match while playing but getting to know that people like him cheer for us, motivates us. I had become a fan of his after watching the biopic of MS Dhoni sir and I also liked his movie Chhichhore a lot. Apart from loss to the family, it’s a huge loss for the county,” said Punjab captain and Kings XI Punjab player, Mandeep Singh.
Another KXIP cricketer and member of the 2018 U-19 World Cup winning team, Arshdeep Singh, too had met Rajput post KXIP matches and remembered his meeting with the actor. Apart from watching IPL matches at different venues, Rajput had also performed at the IPL opening ceremony in Mumbai in 2018. “While actors watch matches and are fans of cricketers, every cricketer is also fan of actors. I had met him post the IPL match and he had encouraging words for youngsters like us,” shared Singh.
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