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Model moves on fashion pitch

The two reigning pin-up boys of Indian cricket — Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Irfan Pathan — bowled ’em over on quite a different pitch on Monday afternoon.

The dashing duo, brand ambassadors of sportswear major Reebok, were seen ditching bat and ball and donning some cool styles as they took to the ramp at the Reebok outlet on Sarat Bose Road.

The occasion was the display of Reebok’s autumn-winter 2006-07 collection comprising two lines — Reebok Classic Lifestyle and Reebok Gym. The collection boasted track pants, shorts, tennis skirts, hooded winter wear and capris, all teamed with the latest Reebok footwear.

Looking his coolest best in a white Reebok Champion’s Club jacket teamed with denims and a pair of shades, Dhoni looked no less hot than a Zulfi Sayed or a Rajneesh Duggal. The cricket heartthrob played to the galleries — hosting over a hundred frenzied fans — as he posed for the shutterbugs and waved a friendly glove-less hand.

“Walking the ramp feels different, but it feels nice doing different things. I think it’s equally tough whether you are an actor, a model or a cricketer,” smiled Dhoni.

Pathan, though, looked a wee bit less at home and steered clear of the spotlight. He made a round of the ramp in a black-and-white Reebok Champion’s Club jacket.

Backstage, though, he looked far more relaxed. “It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but I walk the ramp like I’m walking on the road,” grinned Team India’s hottest all-rounder, somewhat apologetically.

Sitting with arms folded across the chest at one end of the sidewalk, Pathan chose a casual conversation with Subhinder Singh Prem, managing director of Reebok India Company, over a second round of catwalk.

Outside the store, the starry-eyed crowd couldn’t seem to get enough of their favourite bowler and wicket-keeper, as people stood on the tall black gates of the three-level Reebok retail arena to catch a fleeting glimpse.

A few more daring ones climbed the ledges of the left section of the neighbouring Hindustan Club building. Amidst fans scrambling for autographs, the cricketers were hurriedly whisked away in a Toyota Innova.

For the rest of the ramp walk, black-and-white was the colour theme for most of the male models while shades of pink dominated the women’s sportswear. “We sponsor eight of the 11 team members. It helps build credibility of our product performance,” said Prem. He also shared plans to speed things up on the retail front: “Sports fashion is in and the collection is trendy and very wearable.”

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